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Texas Gov. Greg Abbott busses migrants to LA's Union Station

Texas sends busload of migrants to downtown LA
Texas sends busload of migrants to downtown LA 04:38

Texas Governor Greg Abbott announced that he has bussed a group of migrants to Los Angeles' Union Station Wednesday. 

"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," said Abbott. 

AUSTIN, TEXAS - JANUARY 31: Texas Gov. Greg Abbott listens to reporters during a news conference on January 31, 2023 in Austin, Texas. Gov. Abbott held a meeting and news conference in preparation for the winter storm that is sweeping across portions of Texas.  Photo by Brandon Bell/Getty Images

The pair of buses carrying 40 migrants arrived at the transportation hub Wednesday evening. The Coalition for Humane Immigrant Rights of Los Angeles took them to St. Anthony's Croatian Catholic Church in Chinatown.

"It is abhorrent that an American elected official is using human beings as pawns in his cheap political games," Mayor Karen Bass said in a statement.

In addition to basic needs and medical care, the migrants were provided with legal advocates, as they believe some may have court dates located in other states. 

"This did not catch us off guard, nor will it intimidate us," said Bass. "Our emergency management, police, fire and other departments were able to find out about the incoming arrival while the bus was on its way and were already mobilized along with nonprofit partners before the bus arrived."

According to Abbott, the state has transported more than 21,600 migrants to several cities across the country since last spring. 

"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," said Abbott. "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."   

Advocates denounced Abbott's actions, accusing him of using migrants for a political stunt.

"This is part of the cruelty of a political stunt like this," said Lindsay Toczylowski, Executive Director and Co-Founder of the Immigrant Defenders Law Center. "Taking people who are in the middle of the most important process — a process of seeking asylum where their lives and the lives of their children are at stake — and sending them on a bus without any regard as to where their cases are going to be processed."

This is the third known instance of states transporting migrants to a California city in the past few weeks. Earlier this month, Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis flew two planes of migrants to Sacramento.

Regarding the recently arrived families, the state is in close communication with the County and City of Los Angeles, and our community partners," said Daniel Lopez, spokesperson for California Gov. Gavin Newsom's office. "Together, we will make sure that the children and families who arrived are safe and welcomed."

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