Paul Babeu Supporter Organizing Murrieta-Style Protest in Oracle, Says Babeu Tipped Him Off (w/Update)
Update 5:13 p.m.: Director of Sycamore Canyon Academy tells me that he has "no date and time" associated with arrival of children. Says he is not aware of children coming on Tuesday. See full update below.
A longtime supporter of Pinal County Sheriff Paul Babeu says the sheriff tipped him off that 40 to 50 migrant kids would soon be placed in his community.
Oracle resident Robert Skiba believes that the minors will be bused by federal authorities to the Sycamore Canyon Academy on Tuesday.
He told me in an interview this morning that he first heard of the transfer from Babeu at an NRA women's leadership forum held in Tucson, where Babeu was the featured speaker.
"I was at a luncheon in Tucson last Thursday," Skiba explained. "And Sheriff Paul Babeu gave a beautiful speech on immigration.
"At the end of the speech, he looked at me and he said, 'Mr. Skiba, the government's going to put 40 Central American kids in your community in the very, very near future.'
Babeu and his Mexican ex-lover: The sheriff is worried about unaccompanied minors from Central America
"I extemporaneously popped off, I said, `And we'll take care of them.' It made people chuckle because it had a double meaning."
Skiba began making calls as soon as he got home, calling elected officials, letting others know, and snooping out more details of the transfer, he claims.
He says he and about 50 to 200 other protesters will be "on the Mount Lemon Road where it turns off to Peppersauce Canyon" beginning Tuesday morning at 7 a.m.
"We're going to engage in peaceful assembly," Skiba told me. "And if these buses with these people from Central America come in, we're going to stop it. we're going to turn them around and send them back, just like they did in Murrieta, California."
This, of course, is a reference to protests outside a U.S. Customs and Border Protection facility in that southern California town, where an angry mob of anti-immigration demonstrators forced federal buses filled with immigrant children and mothers to turn around.
No arrests were made that day, though arrests were made on July 4, during a subsequent and much larger demonstration there from both pro and anti-immigration groups.
I asked Skiba if he was willing to block buses if it meant getting arrested.
"Whatever it takes," he stated.