Oracle man organizing protest againstpossible drop off of undocumented immigrant children

PHOENIX - Dozens of unaccompanied undocumented children could be dropped off at a boys academy in Oracle as early as Tuesday morning.

In a news release issued to ABC15, Pinal County Sheriff Paul Babeu said he was notified of a plan to transfer between 40 and 60 unaccompanied illegal minors to the Sycamore Canyon Boys Ranch in Oracle.

Robert Skiba, a longtime Oracle resident, tells ABC15 he has organized a protest to prevent buses from making the drop off.

"We'll have American flag out there, we'll have water, there will be plenty of politicians there, but we're not going to let the buses go through period," said Skiba during a phone interview with ABC15.

Skiba said he expects dozens of people to join him in a scene similar to that in California where U.S. Department of Homeland Security officials were forced to turn buses around due to protesters.

"You saw that happen, I saw that happen and if those buses with illegal immigrants come here, you'll see it happen again, this time in Arizona," said Skiba.  "We're guaranteed the right to peaceful assembly and that's what we plan to do."

Skiba identified the facility as the Sycamore Canyon Boys Academy, which has been in existence for several years for troubled youth.

"This is sacred area to the people who use this canyon and to dump these 40 lawbreakers into our backyard is totally unacceptable and we plan to do everything in our power to stop it," said Skiba.

The Oracle resident said he has been told in recent days the Boys Academy hired 30 additional staff.

"I went down there and they locked the gates on me and they've got some construction going on there as well that they are keeping secret," said Skiba.  "I don't know how they can even handle the additional children, what about the garbage, the sewage and medical emergency facilities."

In a statement, Babeu said his office had communicated with Homeland Security to express their public safety concern and public health concerns.

Skiba said his group plans to be in place by 7:00 a.m. Tuesday morning to block the buses.

Counter demonstrations are planned as well according to a news release from Somos America.

"The people that I am working with are not timid, these are solid upright citizens, many are true patriots, as I am," said Skiba.  "If someone is packing heat, I will ask that if anybody's carry heat to keep it in the car."

On the other side of this issue you’ll find Somos America.  They made signs to bring to Oracle Tuesday.

“Bienvenidos a Arizona, good luck in your process under the law,” founder Roberto Reveles said.

Somos America will join Oracle residents in support of the undocumented children.

"The plan is for us to join with local residents of Oracle to support them in offering a welcome in a humanitarian way to the innocent children coming in from Central America seeking refuge in our country," Reveles said.

But he doesn’t plan to be anywhere near the protesters.

"Our intention is to avoid coming into contact with anybody who is protesting and trying to create difficulties,” he said.


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