Immigration has always been a hot button issue for the U.S., but tensions on the California/Mexico border have nearly been reaching crisis levels. Last evening, a busload of immigrants entering the U.S. were stopped by a large group of protesters. The situation grew out of control, and the bus was diverted to another facility in San Diego. There are likely to be more protests soon, and this situation is only adding more kindling to the ever-burning Immigration debate.
Here are the key figures you need to know.
National FiguresSheriff Joe
Sheriff and longtime anti-immigrant advocate Joe Arpaio has been getting lots of attention for his controversial remarks on the immigration issue. Arpaio reportedly said "border patrol is too busy changing diapers" to go handle illegal immigration.
Popular hispanic musician Lupillo Rivera became a leading pro-immigration figure during the protests, reportedly being spit on by members of the opposite group. Rivera's fame may help catapult the pro-immigrant message to a larger audience.
Local LeadersAlan Long
Long is the Mayor of Murrieta, California. Long is responsible for urging his local citizens to contact their elected officials and voice their opposition to the immigration bus transfers. Long's encouragement helped spark the protest scene that happened last night.
Morones is a human rights activist who has been criticizing the nature of protests, calling them "fear mongering." Morones has spoken on illegal immigration extensively in the past.
Top Dogs in WashingtonPresident Obama
The U.S. President has remained steadfast on his promise of immigration reform without the support of the House of Representatives. Obama's been under fire from Republicans for utilizing his executive authority to get things done without the approval of Congress.
Boehner is Speaker of the House of Represenatives and the chief leader of the opposition to Obama's immigration policies. Boehner went so far as to claim he would sue Obama for overusing his executive authority. Obama claims that Boehner and the rest of the House Republicans have been unhelpful when handling the conflict.
Goodlatte is another member of the House of Representatives and a vocal opponent to Obama in the immigration debate. Goodlatte has been very vocal in pushing for immigration reform. with illegal immigration being a large issue in his home state of Virginia.
Hoyer is the Minority Whip of the House of Representatives. Hoyer and his colleagues believe President Obama should go big and bold with immigration policies, instead of giving into Republican demands.
Who you need to know in the immigration debate