The San Ysidro Border Patrol Station has become ground zero, processing most of the 420 migrants who have arrived July 1, July 4, and Monday. The first wave was turned away from their original processing place in Murrieta, California. But in San Ysidro, the shouting has quieted, the signs have disappeared and the processing continues without the noise. Quickly, quietly and without fanfare or protest, federal agents moved another group of migrants – 140 people – at the center of America’s long-running immigration debate. Rather than go north to the originally-appointed destination – Murrieta, California – they went east to Border Patrol Station Chula Vista turned primary processing facility.There, the processing began as soon as the group stepped off the buses. The mass people-moving process continues, along with the intense opposition as well as widespread compassion that has greeted the exiles. The migrants, most of them reportedly women and children, are among tens of thousands of Central Americans who have poured into the United States via Texas.With the Border Patrol overwhelmed, the U.S. Department of Homeland Security is redirecting the migrants to California – most, to San Diego. Each one once arrived is processed to confirm identity, assess health status and check criminal history. From there, each will be allowed to find temporary shelter and ordered to report to an immigration hearing where they will learn their fate.
The first of the migrants came to San Diego County, Imperial County and Riverside County last week are scheduled for their immigration hearings next week. It’s about a two week process. Once they seek temporary shelter, they are on their own recognizance: if they do not report to those federal hearings, they will be deemed illegal immigrants. If they do, then they have a chance for amnesty at least. This is putting a tremendous strain on the federal government, and nowhere is it felt even more strenuously than at the Border Patrol. Authorities are saying the already thin ranks are practically decimated. Border Patrol agents and other support staff have been called upon to process tens of thousands of migrants – hundreds now in San Diego and another 140 on their way in another 72 hours.