Governor Abbott’s first group of Texan migrants arrive in LA

Texas Gov. Greg Abbott (R) announced on Wednesday that a busload of migrants from the state had arrived in Los Angeles for the first time, adding to the growing list of cities that have taken in migrants on Abbott’s orders.

“Los Angeles is a big city that migrants are happy to go to, especially now that city leaders have approved self-declared refuge city status,” Abbott said in one opinion published Wednesday evening. “Our border communities are on the front lines of President Biden’s border crisis, and Texas will continue to provide this much-needed assistance until he gets his job done and secures the border.”

According to the statement, the migrants were dropped off at Union Station in downtown Los Angeles on Tuesday night. The arrival comes more than a year after Abbott directed The Texas Division of Emergency Management (TDEM) plans to charter buses carrying migrants released from federal custody from Texas to Washington, DC to honor President Joe Biden’s decisions.

Biden announced this last year End of title 42a policy introduced during the pandemic era by the Donald Trump administration that sent asylum seekers across the border back into Mexico.

In his letter to TDEM in April 2022, Abbott said that Biden’s move would result in an influx of thousands of migrants into Texas for which the US Department of Homeland Security “has no real plan.” He added that Texas’ resources are “already stretched” and the state is unable to handle groups of migrants in Texas communities.

After more than 40 migrants arrived in Los Angeles Wednesday night, Los Angeles Mayor Karen Brass fired one opinion The city implemented an emergency management plan that was developed in advance by local, state, and federal agencies and nonprofit organizations.

“It is despicable that an American elected official would use humans as pawns in his cheap political games,” Bass said in the statement. “Shortly after taking office, I directed city officials to begin planning in case Los Angeles fell victim to a despicable act that Republican governors hold dear.”

Despite disapproving of Abbott’s plan, Brass emphasized that Los Angeles “tries to treat all people with dignity and compassion” and “is not swayed or moved by petty politicians who play with human lives.”

“In everything we do, we will continue to walk hand in hand and continue to lead. And we will always put people’s health and welfare ahead of politics,” she said.

Migrants who were sent on a bus from Texas line a sidewalk near the US Capitol on August 11, 2022.
Migrants who were sent on a bus from Texas line a sidewalk near the US Capitol on August 11, 2022.

Kent Nishimura/Los Angeles Times via Getty Images

Abbott has bused migrants to other cities over the past year, including New York City, Chicago, Philadelphia and most recently Denver. According to the Texas Tribune, the state has sent more than 19,000 migrants to these cities, prompting city officials to speak out.

Last month Chicago Mayor Lori Lightfoot wrote one letter She urged Abbott to stop sending migrants to the city, which she called a “dangerous and inhumane action.” Chicago has welcomed more than 8,000 Texas men, women and children since August and has faced shortages of shelter and resources.

“None of these urgent needs were addressed in Texas,” Lightfoot said, noting that nearly all migrants were in dire need of food, water, clothing and medical supplies. “Instead, without regard to their personal circumstances, these individuals and families were packed into buses and shipped across the country like cargo.”

Several groups including the American Union for Civil Liberties, and politicians have spoken out against Abbott’s migrant bus program. In April, the Texas Democratic Party said Abbott was trying to “demonize immigrants.”

“For years, Texas Republicans have viewed the southern border as an issue of contention, creating a narrative that stokes emotion but neglects the truth,” the Texas Democratic Party said in one opinion.

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