The U.S. Border Patrol says it will not be sending any more busloads of migrants from Texas to the border patrol station in Murrieta, police said Wednesday.
That news didn't stop a crowd of several hundred from gathering near Murrieta's city hall Wednesday afternoon as part of a vigil in support of the migrants. A handful of counter-demonstrators also showed up, in a town that has become the latest flashpoint of the immigration debate.
Supporters and opponents of the migrants' arrival, draped in American flags and carrying handmade signs, faced off at times, but the protest was mostly peaceful, KPCC's Benjamin Brayfield reported.
The Border Patrol's announcement came a day after state lawmakers toured another border patrol facility in Ventura County and as President Obama addressed concerns about the deteriorating border situation in Texas.
Addressing Texas Gov. Rick Perry's concerns about the number of children arriving from Central America, the president said he was eager to sign an emergency spending package to help ease the detention and processing efforts.
The Associated Press reports:
Following a meeting with Perry in Dallas Wednesday, the president suggested there was little daylight between Perry's calls for additional assistance at the border and the nearly $4 billion request Obama sent to Congress this week. He also made a public appeal for Perry, a potential GOP presidential candidate in 2016, to wield his influence with Texas' Republican-heavy congressional delegation and press them to back the emergency spending package.
"The only question at this point is why wouldn't the Texas delegation or any of the other Republicans who are concerned about this not want to put this on a fast track and get this on my desk so I can sign it and we can start getting to work?" Obama said. He argued that opposition to the urgent spending request would be part of a pattern of obstructionism from Republicans who have also resisted moving forward on a comprehensive immigration bill.
Senate minority leader Mitch McConnell fired back Thursday that he felt Obama was asking for "a blank check" and told the AP that Republicans "want to make sure we actually get the right tools to help fix the problem."
You can see photos above of the protest vigil and of a rally by anti-immigration activists at the Border Patrol facility.