The right-wing radio-driven paranoia, hate and fear of an entire segment of our country's population is slowly eroding our sense of decency. Give us your tired, your poor, your huddled masses yearning to breath free -- and get them the hell out of here!
(CNN) -- The national controversy over a surge of Central American immigrants illegally crossing the U.S. border established a new battleground this week in a Southern California small town where angry crowds thwarted detained migrants from entering their community.
The sentiment carried over to a raucous Wednesday night meeting at a Murrieta high school auditorium. Border patrol and immigration officials got an earful.
"This is an invasion," attendee Heidi Klute said before a full house. "Why isn't the National Guard stopping them from coming in?"
The overflow crowd of hundreds spilled out into the school's parking lot.
In a faceoff Tuesday with three buses carrying the migrants behind screened-off windows, demonstrators chanted "Go back home!" and "USA," and successfully forced the coaches to leave Murrieta, CNN affiliate KFMB reported.
The buses instead took the 140 or so undocumented immigrants to U.S. processing centers at least 80 miles away, in the San Diego and El Centro areas, federal officials say.
Counter-protesters squared off with the demonstrators, and a shouting match erupted over the nation's immigration system, which recently has been overwhelmed with a tide of Central American minors illegally entering the United States alone or with other children.