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Battle Over Immigration Continues To Heat Up In Murrieta

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MURRIETA (CBSLA.com)  —  The battle over immigration continues to heat up in Murrieta.

KCAL9’s Tom Wait reports both sides of the debate are digging their heels in.

Another group of documented immigrants from Texas could arrive in Murrieta on Friday — Independence Day.

Many Murrieta residents told Wait they would be there, at the border, to protest.

Murrieta’s border patrol station is once again in the spotlight, he reported.

“So, if you’re going to have an open border,” said Miles Kaplan, a protester, “and just let anyone come and go, there’s a very good chance something bad could happen.”

Peter Santilli brought his conservative Internet radio show to the station; he says his supporters are going to block the roads at the Tijuana border.

“We’re gonna go down to the Tijuana border crossing and shut that border down,” Santilli said.

Wednesday night, hundreds gathered in Murrieta for a town-hall meeting.

The public gave an earful to local leaders and homeland security officials.

“It’s not welcome in Murrieta; it’s not welcome in our community,” said one man.

“Are you the type of men that will draw the line in the sand in Murrieta today?” asked another to cheers.

Murrieta Mayor Alan Long praised local leaders for their handling of the situation.

“This is admittedly a nationwide problem and little old Murrieta has taken the lead in getting change,” Long said.

Tensions boiled over Tuesday when protesters blocked a bus carrying undocumented immigrants to Murrieta’s border patrol station.

Protesters told Wait they were outraged that those who crossed the border illegally will eventually be set free into the United States.

Advocates for the immigrants say it was hateful to stop the buses.

“We’re human. And we need more compassion. We need more love,” said Luz Gallegos, an immigration advocate.

“This country can’t sustain what we have now and our way of life if we allow everyone who is coming in like it is now,” added Kaplan.

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