People arriving at the San Ysidro Port of Entry were greeted by a group of prayerful demonstrators singing "Jesus Loves the Little Children" on Saturday, July 19.
Pastor Sharon Stanley-Rea of the Disciples of Christ led the group of about 25 people in what she called "a demonstration of faith" that lasted several hours in front of the government building at the southernmost trolley stop.
"We are here to proclaim our hope that our government protects these [Central American migrant] children from violence, from extortion, from sex trafficking, from gangs — from dangers so severe they had to flee from their homes and come here," Stanley-Rea said.
Groups including the Americans for Legal Immigration and Overpasses for America claimed to have organized 320 protests all over the U.S. for Friday and Saturday, including protests in La Mesa, San Ysidro, and Murrieta. Protesters did show up at the Severin overpass over the I-8 this morning and at the Mexican consulate in Little Italy on Friday, July 18.
The Americans for Legal Immigration PAC (ALIPAC) website has pictures of about a dozen people and says "25 patriots" showed up. But, police said, no anti-immigrant protesters showed up in San Ysidro.
The Disciples of Christ group included people from Miami, Texas, and Washington DC. They are in San Diego for the church's national Hispanic assembly convention.
"When we heard there was going to be a demonstration against helping these refugees, we decided to come," Stanley-Rea said. "We wanted there to be Christian voices in the midst of the sad, terrible anger against these poor children."