Protesters waved "Return to Sender" signs, shoved a group of mariachi musicians and waited for a bus of immigrant children that the local sheriff told them would arrive. At one point, they briefly halted a bus before realizing it was carrying children from a YMCA.
The bus of Central American children never arrived, ending a day of protest in a small Arizona town that drew more than 100 people on both sides of the immigration debate.
Sheriff Paul Babeu is credited with stirring up the anti-immigrant protesters through social media postings and a press release and by leaking information about the migrants' arrival to a local activist. The Sycamore Canyon Academy acknowledged that it had an agreement with the Department of Health and Human Services to take in a "small number" of immigrant children from Central America, but it did not specify how many and when they would arrive.
"All this was done in secrecy, and that's where a lot of people are upset," Babeu said Tuesday. "My concern (is) where's the federal government? Why are they not here? Why did they not hold a town hall to answer some of these questions?"
He addressed both sides of the protesters, asking them to remain civil, abide by the law and keep the roads cleared. Immigrant rights activists questioned Babeu about agitating protesters when he should be bringing order as the county's top lawman.
Babeu said he was simply informing the public and was at the site to make sure the protests on both sides were peaceful.
Read more at the Associated Press