Child immigrants in Arizona: Demonstrators face-off in Oracle over possible child immigrant drop-off

PHOENIX - Demonstrators on both sides of the immigration debate gathered in southern Arizona Tuesday after reports that a bus load of undocumented immigrant children would be dropped off at a facility surfaced this week.

However, a spokesman with Health and Human Services, who oversees these transfers, said it considered using the facility in Oracle, Ariz., but said no decision had been made.

RELATED: Man plans protest against possible drop-off of undocumented immigrant children

One group of demonstrators gathered at a street corner near American and Mt. Lemmon in Oracle, which is located about 40 miles northwest of Tucson, to welcome the reported bus load of children.

“They’ve been through some tough stuff and I don’t think that’s the way they should be treated. So we are saying bienvenidos," said William Simmons.

Three miles down the road another group of demonstrators gathered early Tuesday with a much different view, and plan.

This group hoped to block the Department of Homeland Security bus, similar to what happened on July 1 in Murrieta, California.

RELATED: Protesters force bus of undocumented immigrants to leave Murrieta

“I’m here for my children, my grandchildren, and the sovereignty of this country," said M.J. Essenmacher. “We are being invaded by illegals, hundreds and thousands who are bringing in disease and gang members.”

RELATED: Undocumented immigrants bringing diseases across the border?

“Supposedly these are just refugee immigrant children. We don’t know that. We could have really bad gang members in there," said Keith Miller.

RELATED: Border Patrol agents concerned about child immigrant ties with MS-13 gang

The other group doubts that the children are hardened criminals.

If the children are transported to the shelter, the children will stay for at least 35 days before either being reunited with family or deported.

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