While California was experiencing its first tropical storm in 84 years, a busload of migrants were loaded up in Texas and driven to Los Angeles. Here’s the full story.
Heading to the Eye of the Storm
Tropical Storm Hilary brought record rainfall totals and flooding to parts of California. It was the first tropical storm to hit the state in 84 years.
Knowing the storm was coming, Governor Greg Abbott ordered 37 migrants to load a bus and head towards the storm.
The group was made up of 16 families, including 14 children and one infant. These migrants came from Venezuela hoping to find a place to call home in the United States.
The executive director of the Immigrant Defenders Law Center, Lindsay Toczylowski called Governor Abbott’s actions “reckless.”
“Knowing They’d Have To Drive Right Into an Unprecedented Storm.”
The mayor of Los Angeles, Karen Bass, called the move by Texas “evil.” Bass said that “while they were urging everyone to stay safe,” the governor of Texas was sending these families to Los Angeles “KNOWING they’d have to drive right into an unprecedented storm.”
People on Twitter disagreed with Bass. One person wrote, “Did Biden’s border invasion take a pause during the storm?”
In response to Bass’ statements, Keith Swank wrote, “Florida, Texas, New Mexico, and Arizona deal with illegals rain or shine. So, you should also.”
After receiving backlash from California’s leaders, a spokesperson for Abbott defended the governor’s actions.
Much-Needed Relief to Our Overrun and Overwhelmed Border Communities
Andrew Mahaleris made a statement saying the bus driver “rerouted out of an abundance of caution and took a cautious path to Los Angeles to keep all on board safe.”
Mahaleris also noted that the migrants voluntarily loaded the bus, knowing they were being taken to Los Angeles. No one was forced to go.
The statement made by Abbott’s spokesperson said the bus had food and water on board, and the migrants were able to get off and make purchases when the bus refueled.
Mahaleris ended his statement with a message for Mayor Karen Bass. He said, “Instead of complaining about Texas providing much-needed relief to our overrun and overwhelmed border communities, Mayor Bass needs to call on President Biden to step up and…secure the border.”
“Overwhelmed” With Migrants
Governor Abbott has been bussing migrants from Texas to what he refers to as “sanctuary cities.” Sanctuary cities are known to have laws that protect undocumented immigrants.
Abbott has defended his policy because of how many migrants are crossing into the United States from Mexico. He said the border cities in Texas are “overwhelmed” with migrants.
The “sanctuary cities” Abbott has been bussing migrants to include New York City, Chicago, Philadelphia, Denver, Los Angeles, and Washington D.C.
Governor Abbott launched his border security initiative, Operation Lone Star, in response to the rising number of border crossings. Abbott blames the surge in border crossings on President Biden’s immigration policies.
“Inhumane” and “Heartless”
Many people have criticized Abbott for using migrants to make a political statement. Twitter user @john15207 said that Abbott “needs to be in jail” for sending these migrants “directly into the tropical storm’s path.”
Others called Abbott “inhumane” and “heartless” towards migrants.
Buddy said he didn’t understand why the Democratic Party wasn’t doing more about what Abbott was doing. He said, “Biden should have the DOJ all over this and criminally charge Abbott for this corrupt abuse of power.”
“These People Traveled Hundreds of Miles Across the Desert on Foot and Escaped Cartels. I Don’t Think They Are Overly Frightened by Rain”
Not everyone was against Abbott bussing migrants to Los Angeles during the storm, though. One Twitter user commented, “These people traveled hundreds of miles across the desert on foot and escaped cartels. I don’t think they are overly frightened by rain.”
Migrants have said that getting a “free bus ride from the US government” has been beneficial to them.
Featured Image Credit: Shutterstock / Carrington Tatum. The people shown in the images are for illustrative purposes only, not the actual people featured in the story.
Source: The Texas Tribune