While Murrieta celebrated its 23rd annual Birthday Bash, Murrieta Mayor Alan Long and staff were hard at work developing a comprehensive action plan for the transfer of immigrants into their city expected Tuesday, July 1.
Long discussed how the city resisted the incoming flood of immigrants in the last month.
“This is no longer a matter of (the immigrants are coming), but when,” Long stated in a telephone interview with DailySoCal. “We have fought this issue two times, and twice have halted the transfer, however, this time the situation is coming. No political pressure will change it at this point.”
In a Sunday release on his Facebook page, Long described the situation as it has unfolded:
“Murrieta expects our federal government to enforce our laws, including the deportation of illegal immigrants caught crossing our borders, not disperse them into local communities. However, this decision was made by the federal government and is not within our local authority to change. Clearly, this is a failed system that is spreading the cost and needed resources to handle these situations on the backs of local communities. Nevertheless, we must react and put a plan in place.”
In a very fluid situation, Murrieta is rising to the challenges that have been dropped on their doorstep.
“We have been in communication with Congress, with Supervisor Jeff Stone, with Representative Ken Calvert in phone conferences and developing action plans since word came Friday,” Long told DailySoCal. “The citizens of Murrieta are frustrated, and we (Rep. Calvert, Jeff Stone, Mayor Alan Long) encourage our citizens to write to Congress, write the President and express (their) opinions on the immigration situation.”
Regarding the transfer of immigrants into Murrieta, news, rumors, and conversation has spread through social media in a wave. Long is determined to get actual facts to the public, sharing what he knows in a situation that is increasingly dynamic.
Long, no stranger to developing action plans as the Emergency Management and Preparedness Battalion Chief of the city of Anaheim, has worked tirelessly with his team since Friday’s release.
[Follow DailySoCal.com on Facebook for Breaking News and information updates]
“We have been in communication with the Border Patrol, Congress, regarding the transfer of immigrants into Murrieta,” Long said, “These are mostly families–specifically women and children. They have been medically screened and most have families in Southern California–a designated location to go while they await court appearances with U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) agents to make sure they get there.”
Whether or not the information received is accurate is unknown until the immigrants arrive. Long, along with Rep. Ken Calvert and Supervisor Jeff Stone (who have released similar statements), remain concerned about the lack of details.
“We don’t know the mix of people, nor do we know where they will be going when they are released … or if ICE agents will be on hand for processing at the Murrieta Border Patrol Station,” Long said. “Our Incident Action Plan reacts to every possibility that could occur and deals with many ‘what-if’s’ that could arise during the transfer of these people to Murrieta.”
According to Long, the IAP includes many agencies, who are rapidly being contacted in preparation for Tuesday’s immigrant arrival.
“Social services, the Riverside County Sheriff’s office — many others are in the action plan loop, however, these all remain possibilities until the immigrants actually arrive in Murrieta,” Long stated.
In his Facebook release, he described the actions taken since Friday:
“I have instructed our City Manager to establish a Unified Command and create an IAP with multiple contingency plans and mutual aid. Safety and operational continuity between agencies is a top priority.”
Stay tuned for a live streaming interview with Mayor Alan Long Monday, June 30 and follow DailySoCal on Facebook for further updates.