|State Assemblywoman Melissa Melendez (R-Lake Elsinore) reads from a prepared statement during a press conference on Wednesday.|
After large crowds of protestors outside the city's U.S. Border Patrol station over the last week required a heavy police presence at the site, Melendez is asking the governor to stand up on behalf of Murrieta and get some answers.
"A letter went out to the governor today," Melendez said. "He has been silent on this issue. It's incumbent on him to make a statement about his feelings on this issue."
Melendez said she urged Brown to contact Jeh Johnson, U.S. Secretary of Homeland Security, for details on the duration of the immigrant transfers. So far, three planned transfers have been aborted because of the local protests, but as of Wednesday morning, Murrieta officials had received no word regarding how many other transfers would be made or attempted.
In her letter, Melendez also expressed concern about the safety of Murrieta citizens, given that so many police officers are required at the Border Patrol station.
"The governor has a direct line to Jeh Johnson," Melendez said. "He could pick up the phone and get some answers and let everyone know. I have also asked that if this continues, the governor make available to Murrieta emergency state resources to make sure public safety does not continue to be threatened by this federal blunder.
"The federal government's current actions are inhumane and irresponsible. To ship these folks consisting of women and children thousands of miles across the country like cattle is nothing but a humanitarian crisis."
Melendez said one of the options she would like Gov. Brown to consider is calling a state of emergency to provide the resources Murrieta would need to protect itself during ongoing immigrant transfers and protests.
"It's not that I'm suggesting we have some sort of criminal crisis on our hands where there's going to be looting and pillaging of the town, but the fact remains, Border Patrol is here with a job to do and they're not doing it. So someone has to do the job," Melendez said. "We have local law enforcement out there providing protection because the Border Patrol agents aren't."