Three buses carrying migrants from Texas arrived in downtown Los Angeles Friday, marking the 17th, 18th and 19th such arrival since June.
"Governor (Greg) Abbott continues to put vulnerable lives in jeopardy with limited food and water on multi-day bus journey's to Los Angeles," said Los Angeles Mayor Karen Bass in a statement. "The city has continued to work with appropriate departments, the county, and a coalition of nonprofit organizations, in addition to our faith partners, to execute a plan set in place earlier this year. Our region must come together to address this in collaboration with the state and federal government — and I know we will."
On X, formerly known as Twitter, the Coalition for Humane Immigrant Rights confirmed the arrival of three buses with a total of 109 asylum seekers from Texas. The buses were sent from Brownsville and Del Rio, Texas, and the group of migrants are from Colombia, El Salvador, Haiti, Mexico, Nicaragua, Peru and Venezuela.
According to the CHIRLA, which is a member of the L.A. Welcomes Collective, a network of nonprofit, faith groups and city and county services that respond to the arrival of migrant buses, a third of all migrants arriving in Los Angeles by bus have been children.
"When migrants arrive in California -- more than 434,000 have arrived in California since 2019 -- we receive them, integrate them into society, and they in turn contribute positively to our way of life. The Golden State is an immigrant state and that will not change," CHIRLA wrote on X.
The Clergy & Laity United for Economic Justice, another member of the collective, wrote on X they learned of two of Friday's buses early this morning. The lack of information resulted in "stretching our resources for greeting people with dignity and respect, helping them reunite with family and connect with sponsors," according to CLUE Justice.
"It is abhorrent and cruel of Gov. (Greg) Abbott to send human beings who are tired, hungry and yearning for a safe haven on a 30-hour bus ride without regard for their care, journey or destination," CHIRLA wrote on X. "It is clear he is trying to disrupt our efforts, but we will preserve."
Cabrera also noted some "folks (migrants) told us that L.A. was not their destination. They were just told to get on that bus." Many had not eaten in three days, he added.
The collective usually gets tips hours ahead from volunteers, organizations or from good Samaritans about the arrival of a bus. The route of buses from Brownsville are easier to predict, Cabrera said, but when they are sent from different cities like Del Rio, it's "difficult to guess when they'll arrive."
The collective heard about Friday's buses somewhat late, yet the collective immediately took action as they conducted a "rapid response, met migrants at the bus station and brought them to the receiving site" at St. Anthony's Croatian Catholic Church in downtown Los Angeles.
Migrants received a medical check up, and no one was in need of serious medical attention. Many of them were anxious, hungry and exhausted, yet looking forward to the next leg of their journey -- getting to prove their asylum claim.
Cabrera reiterated the collective will support them with basic needs as migrants are met by their family or sponsors.
Cabrera said he hopes the buses will slow down and stop altogether because Gov. Abbott is using migrants as "political pawns" without regard to their health. But he knows that is less than likely as the political season takes shape.
Texas Gov. Abbott has been orchestrating the trips under Operation Lone Star, saying Texas' border region is "overwhelmed" by immigrants crossing the Mexican border. OLS is a joint operation between the Texas Department of Public Safety and the Texas Military Department along the southern border between Texas and Mexico.
In a recent interview with Fox News, Abbott said "What we've seen is when Democrats have to face up to the reality of what Texas has to deal with every single day, they adopt the same approach that Texas has."
"We need the president to start enforcing the immigration laws of the United States of America, period," he added.
Mayor Karen Bass has complained that Abbott's office does not share enough information with Los Angeles about the shipments. She told KNX that if Abbott's concerns and actions were legitimate and sincere, then "someone in the government and Texas would notify us and coordinate with us."
"We hear about the buses headed our way when they're on the way. We have no idea who's going to be on the bus, how many people it is or what condition they're going to be in when they get here," she said. "Sometimes they haven't had any food, barely had enough water."
The Los Angeles City Council approved a motion on June 9 seeking to formally establish the city as a sanctuary city.
Last month, the council approved a motion calling for the City Attorney's Office to investigate whether crimes were committed on or before June 14, when Abbott sent 42 migrants to Los Angeles in the first of the shipments.
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