Seventh bus carrying migrant asylum seekers arrives in L.A. from Texas


Vanessa Arredondo
Fri, August 4, 2023 at 7:22 PM EDT

A previous group of migrants from Brownsville, Texas, arrive at St. Anthony's Croatian Catholic Church in Los Angeles on July 13. The seventh bus from Texas arrived Friday in Los Angeles. (Irfan Khan / Los Angeles Times)

A bus carrying 49 asylum seekers arrived in Los Angeles on Friday — the seventh such group sent to California from Texas under the leadership of Gov. Greg Abbott in the last two months, according to officials.

The bus left Brownsville, Texas, on Thursday at 11 a.m. and arrived the next day at Los Angeles Union Station at 12:15 p.m., according to a release by the immigration advocacy group Coalition for Humane Immigrant Rights.

A total of 283 asylum seekers have arrived in the region to date.

"Los Angeles continues to open its heart and work collectively to give asylum seekers the refuge they deserve,” Angelica Salas, executive director of CHIRLA, said in a statement. “Our work is to help them find protection and a better life in the U.S., their new home. With this, they will leave behind the suffering and any use of their plight for political agendas.”

There were 32 adults and 17 children, ranging from 4 months old to 16, on the bus, according to the L.A. Welcomes Collective, a network of nonprofit, faith and immigrant rights organizations. The bus riders sought asylum from countries including Venezuela, Mexico, Brazil, Cameroon and China.

Mayor Karen Bass’ office was notified Thursday of the pending arrival of migrants and activated the city’s response plan in cooperation with the collective.

Migrants were offered food, clothing and other services upon arrival at Union Station and were put in touch with any family and friends living nearby. Others will be assisted with travel plans to their final destinations, the collective said.

“[We] welcome with dignity and compassion those who are fleeing horrific conditions and violence in search of protection and refuge," said Guillermo Torres, the immigration program director at Clue Justice, one of the members of the collective.

The first bus arrived in Los Angeles on June 14 carrying 42 asylum seekers. Five more buses arrived in July with a total of 156 people on board as part of Abbott’s initiative to send migrants out of Texas and to “sanctuary” states.

Abbott said Texas would continue sending migrants to other parts of the country until President Biden’s administration “steps up to do his job and secure the border.” Abbott's critics have accused him of using the asylum seekers as "political pawns" to make points with his conservative political base.

The Abbott administration did not respond to requests for comment.

“Our limited capacities and resources do not deter us from continuing to uphold our values, standing in solidarity with our migrant brothers and sisters,” said Alexandra Morales, the director of organizing, policy and advocacy at CARECEN-LA.

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This story originally appeared in Los Angeles Times.