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20th Busload of Illegal Immigrants Arrives in Downtown Los Angeles

20th Busload of Illegal Immigrants Arrives in Downtown Los Angeles

Officials and volunteers deliver diapers, supplies and toys to the St. Anthony Croatian Catholic Church where illegal immigrants were dropped off in Los Angeles on June 14, 2023. (David Swanson/AFP via Getty Images)

City News Service

City News Service

9/30/2023

Updated: 9/30/2023

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LOS ANGELES—Yet another bus carrying illegal immigrants arrived in downtown Los Angeles Sept. 30, marking the 20th such arrival since June.
“One bus with migrants on board from Texas arrived around 1:45 p.m. today at Union Station,” read a statement from Mayor Karen Bass’s office. “This is the 20th bus that has arrived. The city has continued to work with city departments, the county, and a coalition of nonprofit organizations, in addition to our faith partners, to execute a plan set in place earlier this year. As we have before, when we became aware of the bus yesterday, we activated our plan.”
When three busloads with 109 illegal immigrants arrived Friday, Ms. Bass noted that “Governor [Greg] Abbott continues to put vulnerable lives in jeopardy with limited food and water on multi-day bus journeys to Los Angeles.”
On X, the Coalition for Humane Immigrant Rights (CHIRLA) confirmed the arrival of 27 asylum-seekers Saturday with no children. It did not specify from which nations they had come.
While the collective expected 109 illegal immigrants to arrive Friday, it only assisted 65, citing that some of them may have been picked up by family members or sponsors, or some left immediately upon their arrival at Union Station.
Of the 65 illegal immigrants, 16 were children and there were 35 family-units, meaning migrants who traveled with a spouse, partner, a child or children. Additionally, 36 were female and 29 were male.
According to the CHIRLA, which is a member of the L.A. Welcomes Collective, a network of nonprofit, faith groups, and city and county services that respond to the arrival of migrant buses, a third of all illegal immigrants arriving in Los Angeles by bus have been children.
“When migrants arrive in California—more than 434,000 have arrived in California since 2019—we receive them, integrate them into society, and they in turn contribute positively to our way of life. The Golden State is an immigrant state and that will not change,” CHIRLA wrote on X.
Los Angeles Mayor Karen Bass speaks onstage during EMILYs List's 2023 Pre-Oscars Breakfast at The Beverly Hilton in Beverly Hills, Calif., on March 7, 2023. (Araya Doheny/Getty Images for EMILYs List)

Los Angeles Mayor Karen Bass speaks onstage during EMILYs List's 2023 Pre-Oscars Breakfast at The Beverly Hilton in Beverly Hills, Calif., on March 7, 2023. (Araya Doheny/Getty Images for EMILYs List)

The Clergy & Laity United for Economic Justice, another member of the collective, wrote on X they learned of two of Friday’s buses early Friday morning. The lack of information resulted in “stretching our resources for greeting people with dignity and respect, helping them reunite with family and connect with sponsors,” according to CLUE Justice.
“It is abhorrent and cruel of Gov. Abbott to send human beings who are tired, hungry and yearning for a safe haven on a 30-hour bus ride without regard for their care, journey or destination,” CHIRLA wrote on X. “It is clear he is trying to disrupt our efforts, but we will persevere.”
Jorge-Mario Cabrera, director of communications for CHIRLA, told City News Service since June a third, 35 percent of illegal immigrants arriving on buses from Texas are children, which is one of many reasons the collective condemns Mr. Abbot’s actions.
Mr. Cabrera also noted some “folks [illegal immigrants] told us that L.A. was not their destination. They were just told to get on that bus.” Many had not eaten in three days, he added.
The collective usually gets tips hours ahead from volunteers, organizations or from good Samaritans about the arrival of a bus. The route of buses from Brownsville are easier to predict, Mr. Cabrera said, but when they are sent from different cities like Del Rio, it’s “difficult to guess when they'll arrive.”
Migrants who have crossed into the U.S. from Mexico in Eagle Pass, Texas, on Aug. 25, 2023, enter a Border Patrol vehicle to be taken to a processing facility. (Suzanne Cordeiro/AFP via Getty Images)

Migrants who have crossed into the U.S. from Mexico in Eagle Pass, Texas, on Aug. 25, 2023, enter a Border Patrol vehicle to be taken to a processing facility. (Suzanne Cordeiro/AFP via Getty Images)

Illegal immigrants received a medical check up, and no one was in need of serious medical attention. Mr. Cabrera reiterated the collective will support them with basic needs as they are met by their family or sponsors.
Mr. Cabrera said he hopes the buses will slow down and stop altogether because Gov. Abbott is using illegal immigrants as “political pawns” without regard to their health. But he knows that is less than likely as the political season takes shape.
Texas Gov. Abbott has been arranging the trips under Operation Lone Star (OLS), saying Texas’s border region is “overwhelmed” by immigrants crossing the Mexican border. OLS is a joint operation between the Texas Department of Public Safety and the Texas Military Department along the southern border between Texas and Mexico.
In a recent interview with Fox News, Mr. Abbott said “What we’ve seen is when Democrats have to face up to the reality of what Texas has to deal with every single day, they adopt the same approach that Texas has.”
“We need the president to start enforcing the immigration laws of the United States of America, period,” he added.
Texas Gov. Greg Abbott speaks at a news conference in Beaumont, Texas, on Oct. 17, 2022. (Brandon Bell/Getty Images)

Texas Gov. Greg Abbott speaks at a news conference in Beaumont, Texas, on Oct. 17, 2022. (Brandon Bell/Getty Images)

Ms. Bass has complained that Mr. Abbott’s office does not share enough information with Los Angeles about the shipments. She told KNX that if Mr. Abbott’s concerns and actions were legitimate and sincere, then “someone in the government and Texas would notify us and coordinate with us.”
“We hear about the buses headed our way when they’re on the way. We have no idea who’s going to be on the bus, how many people it is or what condition they’re going to be in when they get here,” she said. “Sometimes they haven’t had any food, barely had enough water.”
The Los Angeles City Council approved a motion on June 9 seeking to formally establish the city as a sanctuary city.
Last month, the council approved a motion calling for the City Attorney’s Office to investigate whether crimes were committed on or before June 14, when Mr. Abbott sent 42 illegal immigrants to Los Angeles in the first of the shipments.
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