Texas Governor Greg Abbott has claimed responsibility for a busload of migrants that arrived at Union Station in Los Angeles on Wednesday.
In a statement, Abbott said small border towns in the Lone Star State “remain overwhelmed and overrun” with people crossing into the country illegally from Mexico and that many of them are hoping to make it to L.A.
“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. 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,” the governor’s statement read in part.
Abbott is following the lead of Florida Governor Ron DeSantis, who has drawn criticism from Gov. Gavin Newsom for recently sending two groups of migrants from Florida to Northern California.
According to the Coalition for Humane Immigrant Rights (CHIRLA), some 42 migrants, including a lot of children in the group, were transported from Union Station to St. Anthony’s Croatian Catholic Church in Chinatown. While the majority of those on the bus were from South and Central America, migrants from Haiti and Asia were also aboard.
Mayor Karen Bass said in a statement posted to social media that the Texas governor’s move was not altogether unexpected and that city departments were directed to plan for an event like this shortly after she was elected.
“This did not catch us off guard,” Bass said. “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.”
KTLA’s Rick Chambers learned that the vast majority of the migrants have already been released to family member spread across Southern California while they await court hearings, some of which will likely be on the east coast.