As 11th bus of migrants arrives, LA considering criminal charges against Texas

Thursday, August 31, 2023
LA considering criminal charges against Texas over migrant buses
As an 11th bus of migrants arrived in Los Angeles, the City Council is asking officials to consider criminal charges against Texas Gov. Greg Abbott.

LOS ANGELES (CNS) -- On a day when another bus of migrants from Texas arrived in Los Angeles, the City Council on Wednesday approved a motion asking the City Attorney's Office to investigate whether Texas Gov. Greg Abbott committed any crimes when he sent 42 migrants on a 23-hour bus ride to downtown L.A. in June.

The motion requests the city attorney to begin proceedings on any potential civil legal action that could be taken against the state of Texas, Abbott, or any other entity involved in the planning and action of busing migrants to Union Station, where they arrived June 14.

The council voted 13-0 to approve the motion, which was first introduced by council members Eunisses Hernandez, Nithya Raman, Monica Rodriguez and Hugo Soto-Martinez on June 16. Hernandez and Councilman Curren Price were absent during the vote.

Texas has sent a total of 11 buses of migrants to Los Angeles, beginning with the June 14 arrival, containing a total of 435 migrants.

The latest bus arrived Wednesday and contained 35 asylum seekers from Guatemala, Honduras, Peru, Russia and Venezuela, according to the Coalition for Humane Immigrant Rights.

Abbott and Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis, who has sent similar shipments of migrants to New York, have defended their decisions, saying their states are overwhelmed by an influx of undocumented immigrants, with Abbott citing the Los Angeles council's recent decision to declare L.A. a "Sanctuary City."

"The competition between these Republican governors about who could be more racist, I think, is just an utter failure and shows clearly that they do not have any intention to govern effectively," Soto-Martinez said prior to Wednesday's vote.

The councilman noted that a couple weeks ago, as Los Angeles was preparing for the arrival of Tropical Storm Hilary, Abbott "knowingly" sent a bus containing migrants, including some children, to Los Angeles.

"Now how heartless do you have to be to send toddlers and small children knowing that the city was preparing for an unprecedented state of emergency?'' Soto-Martinez said. "The callous and disregard for lives of these families deserves their full investigation and accountability into the criminal actions of wrongdoing of Gov. Greg Abbott."

The council also approved a resolution, 13-0, calling upon Los Angeles County District Attorney George Gascón, state Attorney General Rob Bonta and U.S. Attorney General Merrick Garland to investigate and report on the same issue.

The resolution also calls upon county, state and federal government to "support the housing, placement and necessary resources to ensure a dignified welcome to Los Angeles for the migrants."

"Texas' small border towns remain overwhelmed and overrun by the thousands of people illegally crossing into Texas from Mexico because of President Biden's refusal to secure the border," Abbott said in a statement after the first bus arrived in Los Angeles in June.

"Los Angeles is a major city that migrants seek to go to, particularly now that its city leaders approved its self-declared sanctuary city status. Our border communities are on the front lines of President Biden's border crisis, and Texas will continue providing this much-needed relief until he steps up to do his job and secure the border," he added.

The City Council approved a motion on June 9 seeking to formally establish Los Angeles as a sanctuary city.

Councilman Kevin de Leon said Abbott has "no incentive at all whatsoever to stop doing what he's actually doing."

He said Los Angeles has and will accept immigrants and take care of them.

He added that the problem has been exacerbated by what he termed the failure of leaders in Washington D.C.

"We're going on almost four decades without any type of immigration reform,'' de Leon said.

Councilwoman Imelda Padilla condemned Abbott's move, calling it an "ugly form of political theater."

"It's against our dignity, in the humanity of all people, especially toward immigrants, families and children who have fled their country due to injustices or threats against their lives, who have faced unimaginable obstacles to seek asylum," Padilla said.

On Wednesday afternoon, Mayor Karen Bass told KNX News that if Abbott's concerns and actions were legitimate and sincere then "someone in the government and

Texas would notify us and coordinate with us."

She said that's not what's happening.

"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,'' Bass said. "Sometimes they haven't had any food, barely had enough water."