At Left: Protesters turn back three buses carrying 140 immigrants at a Border Patrol processing station Tuesday. (AP Photo/The Press-Enterprise, David Bauman)
Homeland Security buses carrying migrant children and families were rerouted Tuesday to a facility in San Diego after American flag-waving protesters blocked the group from reaching a suburban processing center.
President Barack Obama defiantly dared congressional Republicans on Tuesday to try to block his efforts to act on his own and bypass a divided Congress that has thwarted his policy initiatives.
"So sue me," he taunted on a sweltering day, as he pushed lawmakers to pay for road and bridge repairs. "I'm not going to apologize for trying to do something."
Obama struck an aggressive tone in the face of a lawsuit threat from House Speaker John Boehner and in the wake of two defeats before the Supreme Court, including a unanimous decision from the court that he overreached when he appointed members of the National Labor Relations Board while the Senate was in recess.
His remarks came a day after Obama declared that he would act on his own to address weaknesses in the nation's immigration system after Boehner informed him that the House would not take up an immigration overhaul this year.
He has already taken a series of executive actions, including an order requiring federal contractors to pay a higher minimum wage.
Earlier Tuesday, Obama met with his Cabinet secretaries and urged them to "be creative about how we can make real progress" on issues where Congress won't act.
The standoff in Murrieta, California came after Mayor Alan Long urged residents to complain to elected officials about the plan to transfer the Central American migrants to California to ease overcrowding of facilities along the Texas-Mexico border.
Many protesters held U.S. flags, while others held signs reading "stop illegal immigration," and "illegals out!"
"We can't start taking care of others if we can't take care of our own," protester Nancy Greyson, 60, of Murrieta, told the Desert Sun newspaper.
Many of the immigrants were detained while fleeing violence and extortion from gangs in Guatemala, El Salvador and Honduras.
After the buses were blocked, federal authorities rerouted the vehicles to a freeway and then to a customs and border facility in San Diego within view of the Mexico border.
The three buses were trailed by a half-dozen news crews during the two-hour trip. People near the San Diego facility were surprised by the caravan.After the migrants are processed, Immigration and Customs Enforcement will decide who can be released while awaiting deportation proceedings.
More than 52,000 unaccompanied children have been detained after crossing the Texas-Mexico border since October in what President Barack Obama has called a humanitarian crisis. Many of the migrants are under the impression that they will receive leniency from U.S. authorities.
A Possible Solution: Farmers Buy Visas
Congressman Chris Collins wants to give farmers the ability to issue visas to immigrant workers they employ.
"We are a big dairy state, Collins said. "Right now, quite frankly, many of the workers are not legally here in this country. We need to come up with a way to make sure that the dairy farmers have a legal workforce, which means the visas necessary to hire a workforce."
The visa would be retained by the farmer if a worker left and did not return. Collins says the idea would help to stabilize America's migrant work force. "I've had farmers say they would actually pay a relatively substantial fee to the government to be able to... access visas."
Could the plan work? It might fall under the mantra of "Be creative." That's the instruction from President Barack Obama to his Cabinet secretaries - who are being urged to come up with ways of making progress on issues where Congress won't act.