June 15, 2023: On Wednesday, Texas Governor Greg Abbott announced that the initial batch of migrants, transported by bus from Texas, had reached Los Angeles, California. This action is part of the ongoing efforts by Republicans who oppose President Joe Biden’s immigration policies.
Los Angeles Mayor Karen Bass, a Democrat, criticized the bus trip and referred to it as “a despicable stunt” commonly employed by Republican governors.
Since 2022, Texas has bused over 21,000 migrants to various cities, including Washington, New York City, and Chicago. Critics have labeled this practice as a political maneuver during the national discourse surrounding the influx of immigrants along the southern border.
In recent weeks, flights carrying migrants have also landed in Sacramento, California, prompting state authorities to investigate the involvement of Florida in transporting them from Texas via New Mexico, according to the California attorney general’s office.
Governor Abbott stated that the small border towns in Texas continue to face overwhelming challenges due to many individuals unlawfully crossing into the state from Mexico. He attributed this situation to President Biden’s perceived failure to secure the border. Additionally, he mentioned that migrants are drawn to major cities like Los Angeles, particularly since its local leaders have approved its status as a self-declared sanctuary city.
Sanctuary cities adopt policies to foster trust between local authorities and migrants, regardless of their immigration status. They also limit cooperation with federal authorities in enforcing immigration laws.
On June 9, the Los Angeles City Council passed a motion to draft legislation establishing the city as a “true sanctuary city.” Councilmember Eunisses Hernandez, one of the proponents, shared the news on Twitter.
Mayor Bass clarified that the city was not surprised and had been informed about the bus trip while en route. This allowed officials to coordinate the response of police, fire, and other departments, as well as non-profit partners, in preparation for the bus’s arrival.