- The Washington Times - Tuesday, July 15, 2014

Move over Murrieta. Pinal County Sheriff Paul Babeu said a whistleblower at the Department of Homeland Security has alerted that 40 to 60 illegal minor-aged immigrants were due to be dropped at a remote boys camp in the Arizona mountains on Tuesday — and protesters have rallied accordingly.

The camp, called Sycamore Canyon Academy, is located in Oracle, near Tucson. Sheriff Babeu issued the alert in a public meeting, sending protesters into high-speed mode to try and thwart the government’s buses and send the expected illegal immigrants to a different location — as Murrieta, Calif., protesters did a few days ago.

DHS didn’t provide NBC News with information. But Ike Shipman, who serves as executive director of the academy — which is a privately run operation that helps youth with delinquency or substance-abuse problems — said it’s true that illegal immigrants are due to arrive on Tuesday.

“A small number of unaccompanied youth from Central and South America” are expected, Mr. Shipman told NBC News. “Our mission is to improve the lives of youth, and we will continue to fulfill our mission by focusing on our work with children.’

Robert Skiba, an Oracle resident of 50-plus years, said 500 or so protesters are expected.

“[It’s] going to draw a lot of people,” he said, adding that the “secrecy” of the immigrant drop-off was especially galling, NBC News reported. “We’re supposed to be having a transparent government, but this deal was cut in the cover of darkness. They never offered to have a public meeting and answer questions.”


SEE ALSO: Texas lawmakers act on unaccompanied minors crisis at the border


If it hadn’t been for Sheriff Babeu, Oracle residents wouldn’t even have learned of the situation, he said. Meanwhile, the sheriff himself has taken a strong stance against the transfer of the illegal immigrants to town.

“We don’t need unaccompanied juveniles from Central America being flown into Arizona, compliments of President Obama,” he told NBC News.

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