Los Angeles Mayor Karen Bass said first responders and nonprofits were alerted to the arrival of more than 40 migrants and criticized Abbott for « using humans as pawns in his cheap political games. »
« Los Angeles is not a city motivated by hate or fear and we will absolutely not be influenced or moved by petty politicians who play with human lives, » Bass said in a statement.
The evening’s events marked a familiar cycle: Republicans say they are simply responding to increased migration, and Democrats accuse their counterparts of exploiting asylum seekers for political stunts. DeSantis and Abbott have defended their migrant relocation programs by saying border cities have been overwhelmed by new arrivals. They have also used them to taunt blue states that have enacted policies extending services and protections.
Both California and cities across the state have passed « sanctuary » laws that protect immigrants from deportation, although asylum seekers who have been processed and cleared by federal authorities have at least temporary legal status.
« Small Texas border towns remain overwhelmed and overrun by the thousands of people entering Texas illegally from Mexico due to President Biden’s refusal to secure the border, » Abbott said in a statement. “Los Angeles is a big city that migrants seek to go to, particularly now that its city leaders have approved its status as a self-proclaimed sanctuary city.”
DeSantis, who has touted Florida for transporting migrants to places like Martha’s Vineyard as it seeks the Republican presidential nomination, last week addressed flights to Sacramento blaming « sanctuary jurisdictions » for the surge in migration.
“When they have to deal with some of the fruits of that, they suddenly get very, very angry about it,” DeSantis said during a visit to the southern Arizona border.
Republicans note that the Biden administration and Democratic officials have also moved migrants around the country. But Newsom made a distinction, saying the transportation of the White House was coordinated.
« I’m engaged directly with the administration on coordination, » Newsom said in an interview with Fox’s Sean Hannity that aired this week.