Protesters in Murrieta, California, angered by the arrival of a group of undocumented immigrants from an overcrowded holding facility in southern Texas, gathered Tuesday to turn back the migrants who had come there for processing.
Among the most vocal in opposition to the newcomers is Mayor Alan Long who had urged residents to fight plans to bring them there.
"We've been told the immigrants will come in, 140 every 72-hour shift, for several weeks with no definitive end point," said Long. "And that concerns us when you look at the numbers and the magnitude we are talking about, that is a significant impact on our resources."
About 100 demonstrators blocked three buses carrying 140 passengers on their way to the U.S. Border Patrol processing station in Murrieta, CBS Los Angeles reported. After the buses were blocked en route to the facility, they were rerouted by officials to another processing station near San Diego.
Frustrated Marrietta residents complained at a city council meeting on Tuesday night that the immigrants would bring disease and crime to their community. At least 40 of the undocumented people were under quarantine for head lice and scabies, according to CBS Los Angeles.
"I know it's a hard system to get through, but we're a nation of laws, and once we start tearing down those laws, what have we become?" said Robert Garza, one of the protesters at the processing facility.
The undocumented immigrants are part of a wave of detainees that had come north from Central America and have largely emerged in Texas, where they have overwhelmed U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement facilities.
Although the immigrants were met with protest from townspeople, citing concerns for their safety, federal officials have yet to say what the next steps will be for the detainees.
"At this point, due to safety and security considerations ... we are not providing any further information," Virginia Kice, an ICE spokeswoman told the Los Angeles Times.
In spite of the protests, however, the next group of immigrants is expected to arrive on July 4, CBS Los Angeles reported.
At least one person sympathizes with the plight of the immigrants, though. Enrique Morones, president of Border Angels, said the groups have come to America to escape poor conditions in their home countries.
They're trying to find safety, they're trying to find a way to get away from that violence, said Morones. "If we want to preach human rights as a nation, and we do, we need to practice it on our front door."