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A bus carrying 41 illegal immigrants arrived in the self-described sanctuary city of Los Angeles on Saturday from the Lone Star State, the second in three weeks, according to multiple reports.
The 41 migrants were from Colombia, Belize, Cuba, El Salvador, Nicaragua, Venezuela, Mexico, and Guatemala. Officials said they were dropped off downtown at Union Station at 12:40 p.m. and subsequently taken to St. Anthony’s Croatian Church where they received a legal briefing and were welcomed by the L.A. Welcomes Collective, a local coalition of nonprofits and activist groups. It is not clear who organized the bus trip, but Governors Greg Abbott (R-TX) and Ron DeSantis (R-FL) have recently acknowledged sending illegal immigrants to California.
“We are still putting together all the details about this group of asylum seekers on the Brownsville bus, but if Los Angeles is their last destination, we will ensure this is the place where they get a genuine and humane reception,” the executive director of The Coalition for Humane Immigrant Rights of Los Angeles (CHIRLA), Angelica Salas, said.
Los Angeles Democratic Mayor Karen Bass says the city began working with the Welcome Collective and government departments to prepare for the bus’s arrival when officials learned of its journey but insists her office was never formally informed. Bass tweeted on Saturday that L.A. “believes in treating everyone with respect and dignity and will do so.”
The illegal immigrants, including 11 children, boarded the bus voluntarily in Brownsville, Texas, after being paroled by the Border Patrol, the Los Angeles Times reported.
In early June, the L.A. City Council voted to codify existing policies making L.A. a “sanctuary” for illegal immigrants. That motion also prohibited city resources from being used for federal immigration enforcement, the L.A. Times reported. The state of California was already considered a sanctuary state.
On June 14, Texas Republican Governor Greg Abbott sent a bus of approximately 40 illegal immigrants to L.A., prompting condemnation from Bass. At the time, Abbott cited the city’s status as a “sanctuary.”
“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 tweeted. “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,” the governor said, pressuring Biden to begin to “do his job” to secure the border.
The Texas governor has sent illegal immigrants to other sanctuary cities in the past, including Washington, D.C., New York City, Chicago, Philadelphia, and Denver. Since April 2022, Abbott has sent roughly 22,000 illegal immigrants to other areas, the L.A. Times reports.