Gov. Abbott buses group of migrants to California, cites 'self-declared sanctuary city status'

Over the last year, Abbott has bused migrants to D.C., NYC, Chicago, Philadelphia and most recently, Denver.

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Thursday, June 15, 2023
Texas sends busloads of migrants to LA for 1st time under Abbott order
Gov. Greg Abbott announced that the first group of migrants bused from Texas to California had arrived.

LOS ANGELES, California (KTRK) -- Gov. Greg Abbott announced that the first group of migrants bused from Texas to California had arrived.

In a statement sent out Wednesday, Abbott said the migrants were dropped off at Union Station in Los Angeles during the evening.

SEE ALSO: Gov. Abbott sends migrants to VP Kamala Harris' home after she called border secure

"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 Governor Abbott. "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."

Abbott's plan to bus migrants out of Texas began in April 2022, as the Title 42 public health order was set to end that May. At the time, the first group was sent to Washington, D.C., where Abbott said the Biden administration can deal with them.

SEE ALSO: White House calls Gov. Greg Abbott's migrant bus plan a 'publicity stunt'

Since then, Abbott added New York City, Chicago, and Philadelphia as additional drop-off locations in 2022. He recently added Denver as a busing destination.

SEE ALSO: Texas spent over $12 million to bus migrants to sanctuary cities

According to the release from Abbott's office, since the beginning of the migrant busing strategy, more than 21,600 migrants have been taken to self-declared sanctuary cities.

As has been the case with leaders whose cities received the migrants, Los Angeles Mayor Karen Bass denounced Abbott's decision to use her city as a destination. She wrote in a statement Wednesday:

"It is abhorrent that an American elected official is using human beings as pawns in his cheap political games.

This evening, more than 40 people were sent by the Governor of Texas to our City of Los Angeles.

Shortly after I took office, I directed City Departments to begin planning in the event Los Angeles was on the receiving end of a despicable stunt that Republican Governors have grown so fond of.

This did not catch us off guard, nor will it intimidate us. Now, it's time to execute our plan. 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.

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. We are a city that seeks to treat all people with dignity and compassion and we will continue to work closely with non-profit organizations, including the L.A. Welcomes Collective, as well as with our County, State and Federal partners.

For everything that we do, we will continue to lock arms and we will continue to lead. And we will always put people's health and well-being over politics."

California Gov. Gavin Newsom, a Democrat, has feuded with Abbott over various differences, including gun control. As of Wednesday night, though, Newsom hasn't addressed the Texas governor's actions.