LA Mayor Bass 'concerned' for 'what could come' following TX governor sending '1st bus' of migrants

Saturday, June 17, 2023
LOS ANGELES (KABC) -- L.A. City Council members are calling for a federal investigation into whether Texas Gov. Greg Abbott committed crimes -- such as human trafficking -- when he bused asylum seekers more than 1,000 miles with no food or water.

The announcement came several days after the 42 migrants first arrived in Los Angeles. Abbott said he sent over the "first bus" of migrants because "our overwhelmed border towns are on the frontlines of President Biden's border crisis and need relief. Texas will bus migrants to sanctuary cities like LA until he secures the border."

The asylum seekers -- with the help of government agencies and nonprofits -- have been reunited with family or placed into other housing.

Now, city officials are looking to see if Abbott can be held accountable for sending the migrants on a 23-hour journey through the mostly desert terrain.

Mayor Karen Bass said Abbott should not use people for a political stunt and that she is concerned what could happen if the busing of migrants continues.

Bass also pointed out that 18 of the 42 migrants are children, including three infants under a year old.

"I do believe that it is completely despicable for the Governor of Texas to use people in this manner," said Bass. "It worked out now but it was possible that it didn't, so I am very concerned about what could come."

L.A.'s City Council took aim at Abbott as well. Several members introduced a motion directing the city attorney to investigate whether any crimes, like human trafficking or kidnapping, were committed in shipping the migrants out of Texas.

The council is also asking state and federal investigators to look at Abbott's move.

"We just need them to step up and do what we believe is right for the people of California, but especially for the city of L.A.," said Councilman Kevin de León.

De León was one of the 12 members of the City Council who voted last week to approve a motion calling on various city departments to take the necessary steps for Los Angeles to officially become a "sanctuary city" for immigrants.

The Councilman also says the country needs comprehensive immigration reform.

"We need comprehensive immigration reform. We need it to be defined. We need the leadership. We need the members of Congress and the. US senate as well as the White House to act with the courage of their convictions," said de León.

Representatives from CHIRLA -- The Coaltion for Humane Immigrant Rights -- have been helping the migrants find housing.

The group says most of the 42 migrants are still in L.A.

But some have been reunited with relatives in Southern California, San Diego and San Francisco.
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