The Pinal County Sheriff's Office was recently "informed by 'whistle blowers' in the U.S. Department of Homeland Security they plan to transfer between 40 and 60 unaccompanied illegal minors to the 'Sycamore Canyon Boys Ranch' in Oracle," the office said in a statement on its Facebook page.
"If you're going to send unaccompanied juveniles to another state in another jurisdiction, there's legitimate concern that other members of this community have about public safety and public health," the sheriff said. "Give us the information."
The Sycamore Canyon Academy in Oracle aims to help young men who may be struggling at home or in school. But it's not where the expected group of immigrant children should go, Sheriff Babeu said.
"These children should be returned to their home country -- not to Oracle, Arizona paid for by American taxpayers," Babeu said in the statement.
"We understand there will be protesters who support and oppose ICE (Immigration and Customs Enforcement) bringing the foreign juveniles to Oracle. The Sheriff's Office will work to ensure the peace is maintained at these lawful assemblies."
A mix of poverty, violence and smugglers' false promises has led to an influx of Central Americans -- including minors -- illegally entering the United States.
Tuesday's protest came a day after the federal government deported its first group of the recent wave of undocumented Central American immigrants to Honduras. They were about 40 adults and children who had been recently held at a facility in Artesia, New Mexico.
More deportations to Honduras, Guatemala and El Salvador are expected soon, the U.S. Department of Homeland Security said.
The tensions in Oracle mirror the strife this month in Murrieta. On July 1, a wall of angry protesters blocked three buses of undocumented immigrants from entering their community and forced them to turn around.
Demonstrators in Murrieta quarreled with counterprotesters over the country's immigration system.
"I just wish America would be America again because it's not, and it's not just pointed to the Hispanics," protester Ellen Meeks said. "Everybody needs to go through the legal ways."
But immigration rights advocate Enrique Morones likened the migration to a refugee crisis and suggested that racial antipathy was motivating protesters.
"If these children were from Canada, we would not be having this interview," he told CNN. "The parents have had enough. They are saying, 'If I don't send my child north, they are going to die.' "
A national protest day
This weekend, at least 11 groups are organizing what they describe as "the largest coordinated protest against all forms of amnesty, comprehensive immigration reform, and the government's failure to enforce immigration laws and secure our borders will begin, all across America."
At least 260 protests will include demonstrations at state capitols and Mexican consulates and on freeway overpasses. Groups in California, Texas and Florida scheduled the lion's share of events.
Among the sponsoring groups are the Americans for Legal Immigration PAC, which describes itself as a resource on illegal immigration; and the Tea Party Community, which calls itself "a conservative hub for sharing ideas."
Their flyer makes strong assertions: "Illegal aliens with communicable diseases and conditions such as tuberculosis, scabies, and head lice are entering our country unabated. There is a very real security risk to Americans from drug cartels, gang members, and terrorists -- all of whom can cross our border with no resistance. Adding insult to injury, American taxpayers are being forced to pay for transportation, housing, schooling, legal assistance, and more for the illegals crossing our border."
The organizers didn't immediately respond to a CNN e-mail seeking further comment.