Los Angeles receives first migrant bus from Texas Gov. Greg Abbott
42 migrants including young children, who are mainly from Venezuela, Honduras and Guatemala arrived at L.A.’s Union Station Wednesday afternoon.
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Texas Gov. Greg Abbott announced on Wednesday that the Lone Star State had sent a busload of 42 migrants to Los Angeles, the first sent to the West Coast since beginning his migrant relocation program last Spring.
The group, which included eight children, arrived at LA’s Union Station after a 23-hour bus ride without food, according to Jorge-Mario Cabrera, director of communications for immigrant rights group, the Coalition for Humane Immigrant Rights-Los Angeles (CHIRLA).
Cabrera and his group waited at the station for the bus to arrive. He said CHIRLA had been tipped off Tuesday night about the migrants’ arrival. The migrants were mainly from Venezuela, Guatemala and Honduras, with two of African descent.
The group was taken to a nearby church where they were given food, water, and legal aid.
"Texas' small border towns remain overwhelmed and overrun by the thousands of people illegally crossing into Texas from Mexico because of President Biden's refusal to secure the border," Abbott said in a statement Wednesday.
"Los Angeles is a major city that migrants seek to go to, particularly now that its city leaders approved its self-declared sanctuary city status,” he added. “Our border communities are on the frontlines of President Biden's border crisis, and Texas will continue providing this much-needed relief until he steps up to do his job and secure the border."
Other organizations who assisted include Central American Resource Center (CARECEN), the Immigrant Defenders Law Center, the Esperanza Immigrant Rights Project and the Archdiocese of Los Angeles.
"We have families who've come through this situation who have other family members they were separated from at the border," said Lindsay Toczylowski, the Executive Director and Co-Founder of the Immigrant Defenders Law Center. "We are in the process of trying to unify those families. These are very complicated cases, and people's lives are at stake."
L.A. Mayor Karen Bass denounced Abbott’s actions in a statement shortly following the arrival of the bus.
“It is abhorrent that an American elected official is using human beings as pawns in his cheap political games,” she said. “This did not catch us off guard, nor will it intimidate us. Now, it’s time to execute our plan.”
The first-year Mayor said that before taking office she’d directed city departments to begin planning in anticipation of being the next city to receive migrants, either from Texas or Gov. Ron DeSantis’ Florida, who earlier this month chartered a flight with migrants to Sacramento.
“Los Angeles is not a city motivated by hate or fear and we absolutely will not be swayed or moved by petty politicians playing with human lives,” she added. “For everything that we do, we will continue to lock arms and we will continue to lead. And we will always put people’s health and wellbeing over politics.”
This is one of many other buses Abbott has directed the Texas Division of Emergency Management to charter to transport migrants to Democratic sanctuary hubs including New York City, Chicago, Philadelphia and most recently Denver.
Since last Spring, Abbott’s state-funded program has been responsible for the transport of more than 21,600 migrants that he says provide much-needed relief to Texas' border communities.