Press Release

City of L.A. welcomes third group of migrants bussed in from Texas



LOS ANGELES, CA -- The L.A. Welcomes Collective, a network of immigrant rights, immigration legal services providers, and faith organizations, in coordination with the City of Los Angeles and the County of Los Angeles, responded Thursday to the early-morning arrival of 35 migrants sent from Brownsville, Texas, offering them limited support services, including food, clothing, and legal immigration consultations upon arrival and facilitating family reunions with loved ones residing in the region. This arrival marks the third bus filled with asylum-seekers sent from Texas to Los Angeles.

The members of the LA Welcomes Collective are:   Archdiocese of Los Angeles, Clergy and Laity United for Economic Justice (CLUE-LA), Central American Resource Center-Los Angeles (CARECEN), Coalition for Humane Immigrant Rights (CHIRLA), Esperanza Immigrant Rights Project, and Immigrant Defenders Law Center (ImmDef).

The following statements can be attributed to each representative from the following organizations:

"As an Immigrant rights organization advocating for humane and compassionate integration of migrants to our society, we know how important it is for recently arrived asylum seekers to encounter humanitarian services, veritable information about immigration laws, and coordination between different entities, in the city that receives them.  As we have said before, regardless of where they come from, mode of transportation, or intent, we will make every effort to maximize our limited resources to receive asylum seekers with dignity and respect," said Gloria Cruz, CHIRLA Policy and Advocacy Director.

“The Archdiocese of Los Angeles continues to welcome our brothers and sisters who are seeking care and support. We are truly honored to be part of these efforts as each of us are called to show respect for the dignity of each migrant through authentic accompaniment and pastoral care,” said Michael P. Donaldson, Senior Director for the Office of Life, Justice, and Peace at the Archdiocese of Los Angeles. “As Pope Francis states in his 2023 Letter for World Migrant Day, the migrant is not “simply a brother or sister in difficulty, but Christ himself, who knocks at our door.”

"Immigrant Defenders Law Center is proud to offer legal support to people arriving in Los Angeles, and we are grateful to the City of Brownsville for sending information in advance about this bus so we can better prepare to welcome them. We will continue to work with our community partners to receive migrants with dignity and ensure their legal needs are met," said Lindsay Toczylowski, Immigrant Defenders Law Center Executive Director.

"As we await the arrival of another bus, CARECEN and the LA Welcomes Collective continue to receive immigrants with love, dignity, and respect. CARECEN-LA remains committed to providing initial support and humanitarian assistance to people seeking safety in their new homes,” said Martha Arevalo, CARECEN-LA Executive Director.

“We are committed to welcoming people seeking safety and protection with dignity and compassion. We understand all too well the difficulties they had to go through to survive these dangerous journeys. The Haitian Bridge Alliance will continue to work with our partners on the ground, and are grateful to the City of Brownville for ensuring that people on the buses have food and water on their way to CA. We are also grateful to the city and county of Los Angeles for working with various local organizations to make sure that our newly arrived community members have food, water, legal assistance, and other necessities upon arrival and while connecting with their loved ones. Anpil men, chay pa lou! Many hands lighten the load," said Guerline Josef, Co-founder and Executive Director of Haitian Bridge Alliance, the Black Immigrants Bail Fund, and founding member of Cameroon Advocacy Network.

“Based on our experience serving vulnerable migrant populations, we expect the families arriving in Los Angeles to need legal services urgently. Asylum seekers and others fleeing harm and violent circumstances have rights under U.S. immigration law, but they have to present their cases in court.  They deserve our compassion, respect and support. We expect the community to once again mobilize and rise to the challenge,” said Kimberley Plotnik, Program Director for Esperanza Immigrant Rights Project.

"I am a veteran of the 1980-90's Sanctuary Movement. It shaped my meaning of hospitality by opting for the struggling migrant. Those who welcome our beloved brothers and sisters now are like a shelter, a place that reflects the spirit of hope and compassion and a welcoming embrace that inspires their dreams and lives to the fullest,” said Father Richard Estrada, Church of the Epiphany and member of Clergy and Laity United for Justice Los Angeles (CLUE-LA).