A bus carrying 40 asylum seekers arrived in Los Angeles on Thursday, marking the eighth bus of migrants transported to California from Texas.
The bus arrived at Union Station in downtown Los Angeles shortly after 11:10 a.m. according to a news release from the L.A. Welcomes Collective, a group of immigration advocates and faith-based organizations working with county and city officials.
The bus riders included 12 children, ranging from 9 months to 17 years old, according to the collective. The majority of the group originated from Venezuela and the rest were from Colombia, El Salvador, Guatemala and Honduras. The collective claims most of the asylum seekers have sponsors in California.
Since June 14, Texas officials have bused 323 people from Brownsville, Texas, to Los Angeles, many of whom traveled from Brazil, Cameroon, Haiti, China and Nicaragua through the U.S.-Mexico border.
The collective embraced the migrants’ arrival and took them to St. Anthony’s Croatian Catholic Church in Chinatown, where they received services from both city and county officials.
“Our commitment to welcoming the stranger is rooted in our shared humanity, reflecting the teachings of Christ to love and care for one another,” Michael Donaldson, a senior director with the Archdiocese of Los Angeles said in a statement. “As a beacon of hope, we stand united in providing refuge, dignity, and a sense of belonging to those seeking a better life.”
“We hope that everyone will arrive safely and that these modes of transportation do not compromise anyone’s health, especially the children,” Coalition for Humane Immigrant Rights Executive Director Angelica Salas said in a statement.
A spokesperson for Mayor Karen Bass’ office confirmed the city learned about the bus when it left Texas on Wednesday. City officials will work with “a coalition of nonprofit organizations, in addition to our faith partners, to execute a plan set in place earlier this year,” the spokesperson said, referring to the city’s effort to respond to the influx of migrants from Texas.
The trip was sponsored by the administration of Texas Gov. Greg Abbott, who has sent busloads of migrants to “sanctuary cities” in an attempt to slam the Biden administration’s immigration policies. Abbott’s office confirmed the bus that arrived in Los Angeles was sent from Texas.
The Justice Department sued the state of Texas last month after the Abbott administration installed a roughly 1,000-foot line of bright orange, wrecking-ball-sized buoys on the Rio Grande. The aggressive border-protection tactic includes razor-wire fencing, arrests of migrants on trespassing charges and transporting migrants to other states.