Texas Gov. Greg Abbott (R) this week sent some 42 migrants on a nearly 24-hour bus ride from his state to Los Angeles.
Abbott called the move “much-needed relief” for his state while L.A. Mayor Karen Bass (D) called it a “despicable stunt.”
“Texas just dropped off the 1st bus of migrants in Los Angeles,” Abbott tweeted Wednesday evening. “Small Texas border towns remain overrun & overwhelmed because Biden refuses to secure the border. LA is a city migrants seek to go to, particularly now its leaders approved its self-declared sanctuary status.”
Bass countered with her own tweet on Wednesday, saying, “This evening, more than 40 people were sent by the Governor of Texas to our City of Los Angeles….This did not catch us off guard…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.”
Bass said she had instructed city departments to prepare for the acceptance of migrants months ago, when GOP governors began sending migrants to Democratic cities and states.
According to immigration advocates in Los Angeles, the arrivals included eight children and several older people. They were given food, shelter and legal aid at a church near the city’s downtown area.
While the advocates could not provide a full manifest they said several of the passengers, who arrived by charter bus, had come from Venezuela, Guatemala and Honduras, while two others were of African descent and one was of Asian descent.
It was not immediately clear whether the migrants voluntarily made the trip or whether they knew where they were going, according to Jorge-Mario Cabrera, a spokesperson for the nonprofit Coalition for Humane Immigrant Rights in L.A.
Though Abbott referred to Wednesday night’s arrival as the “1st” busload, it was not clear as of Thursday morning whether Texas planned to send additional migrants to Los Angeles.