Third immigrant plane lands in San Diego

SAN DIEGO - A third plane filled with Central American immigrants landed at Lindbergh Field Monday morning as protests continued at the Border Patrol station in Murrieta.

Three Department of Human Services buses shuttled some 140 immigrants from the plane to a Border Patrol station in San Ysidro.

Once they arrived, agents wearing plastic gloves conducted pat downs on some of the Central American immigrants.

Protesters waited for the immigrants in Murrieta, about 80 miles north of San Ysidro. It was not immediately clear where the immigrants would be taken.

Some protesters held signs that read, "If fences don't work, why does the White House have one?"

Veteran John Anderson served in the Navy. He held a sign that read, "I did not serve this country so Washington, D.C. can ruin it."

Anderson told 10News, "It's a sad situation but America can't be every country's Band-Aid. We can't."

A handful of people showed up in support of the immigrants. Jordyann Carroll told 10News, "It's so wrong and I don't understand how people can be so cruel and deny anybody that, especially a child."

A local group called Border Angels is collecting teddy bears for the children. They invite the public to drop off teddy bears at 2258 Island Ave. in San Diego. The group plans to deliver the stuffed animals Tuesday.

The first plane from Texas carrying 140 immigrants arrived July 1. The immigrants were then transported to the Border Patrol facility in Murrieta. However, the buses were blocked by protesters and forced to head back down to a facility in San Ysidro.

The second plane arrived Friday, the immigrants were bused to a BP facility in San Ysidro.

Ron Zermeno, a Border Patrol union official, told 10News last week that 40 of those immigrants on the first plane were quarantined at the BP Chula Vista Station with active scabies and head lice. The rest were processed through other BP facilities and released.

Zermeno later disclosed that a BP agent who had being processing immigrants had contracted scabies.

On Sunday, Zermeno told 10News that BP had placed him under a gag order.  

"As long as they send the bodies up there (Murrieta) to be processed, there will be no agents patrolling, and that's what the agency doesn't want me to say," Zermeno said.

"Agents are tired, I know agents are being pulled from different areas to help processing," said Gabe Pacheco Monday, a BP spokesman.

Thousands of children and families have arrived on the Texas border in recent months fleeing violence, murders and extortion from criminal gangs in Guatemala, El Salvador and Honduras. Since October, more than 52,000 unaccompanied children have been detained.
 
The crunch on the border in Texas' Rio Grande Valley prompted U.S. authorities to fly immigrant families to other Texas cities and to Southern California for processing.
 
The Border Patrol is coping with excess capacity across the Southwest, and cities' responses to the arriving immigrants have ranged from welcoming to indifferent. In the border town of El Centro, California, a flight arrived Wednesday without protest.

President Barack Obama last week called the spike in immigrants crossing into the U.S. through Texas a "humanitarian crisis." He asked for more than $2 billion to help with the situation. The president said he will go around Congress and shift resources to the border by the end of summer.

After being processed, the immigrants are being turned over to U.S. Immigration and Custom Enforcement (ICE). Those planning on staying with family members or friends across the country are being taken to bus terminals or airports -- but will be required to report to the nearest ICE facility for case management.

Zermeno said the immigrants will continue to be distributed among San Diego Sector Border Patrol facilities, which could include El Cajon, El Centro, Chula Vista, Campo, Boulevard or San Clemente.

After being screened by the Department of Human Services, the immigrants might be released with instructions to report to an ICE office within 15 days. Some could be allowed to stay under the Alternatives to Detention (ATD) program. According to ICE, ATD is a "flight-mitigation tool that uses technology and case management to increase compliance with release conditions and facilitate alien compliance with court hearings and final orders of removal while allowing aliens to remain in their community."

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