Mayor Declares Murrieta 'Safe' On Eve of Immigrants' Arrival

At a news conference today, Murrieta Mayor Alan Long joined other city and local officials in ad...

At a news conference today, Murrieta Mayor Alan Long joined other city and local officials in addressing the arrival of undocumented immigrants beginning Tuesday.
Murrieta Mayor Alan Long said today that his city has contingency plans to ensure the safety of local residents once hundreds of undocumented immigrants begin arriving at the city's U.S. Border Patrol station on Tuesday.

At the same time, however, Long said it is impossible to know at this point how many of those immigrants might remain in Murrieta or surrounding communities after they are processed. Long said he was told by Border Patrol authorities that 140 undocumented immigrants will arrive at the Murrieta station every 72 hours for an undetermined period of time.

The issue stems from the arrival in the U.S. of thousands of immigrants -- many of them young children -- from Central America who have illegally crossed the border into Texas in recent weeks. Long said he was told in a conference call with Border Patrol agents and other local city leaders that because Texas can't handle the processing of the immigrants alone, the federal government is sending many to other processing areas.

"This is a failure to enforce federal law at the federal level," Long (left) said during a morning press conference at Murrieta City Hall. "Murrieta continues to object to the transfer of illegal immigrants to the local Border Patrol office.

"Supervisor Jeff Stone, Congressman Ken Calvert and surrounding local officials are in support of our efforts and have offered resources. Murrieta Police Department will take the lead and will incorporate resources into the established Incident Action Plan.

"This is a significant impact to our resources, but it is well within our capacity. Murrieta remains safe."

Long said he has been informed that the immigrants will have already been screened for health issues. Even so, Stone has offered to set up a mobile hospital at Murrieta's Border Patrol office for further screening.

Long also said he has been assured the group "does not include any criminals," but it is unclear how U.S. officials would learn about the potential criminal backgrounds of Central American citizens.

Menifee Mayor Scott Mann and City Manager Rob Johnson were in on the conference call this morning. Mann said he shares Long's concern about the problem a federal government decision has created for local cities.

"It's a national issue that needs to be solved at the federal level," Mann said. "This problem has been dumped in our back yard and we are c