Texas Governor Greg Abbott (R) sent a bus load of migrants to Los Angeles as tropical storm Hilary struck the city,
According to a statement from the Immigrant Defenders Law Center, 37 migrants, mostly from Venezuela, were put on a bus in Brownsville, Texas at 5 p.m. Sunday hours before Hilary hit California.
“While we warned Angelenos to stay safe and brace themselves for the storm, the Governor of Texas sent a bus of families and toddlers straight for Los Angeles,” Los Angeles Mayor Karen Bass tweeted. “This is a despicable act beyond politics—it’s evil.”
The group of asylum seekers, made up of 16 families including 14 children and one infant, arrived in Los Angeles at 6:30 p.m. Monday hours after tropical storm Hilary hit the region.
Hilary was the first tropical storm to hit Southern California in 84 years and has led to rainfall and some major flooding.
Lindsay Toczylowski, executive director of the Immigrant Defenders Law Center, called Abbott’s decision “reckless.”
A spokesperson for Abbott told the New York Times that the bus driver “rerouted out of an abundance of caution and took a cautious path to Los Angeles to keep all on board safe.”
It is the ninth bus of migrants Texas has sent to Los Angeles since June. The move is part of Abbott’s strategy to protest the Biden administration’s immigration policies.
“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 do his job to secure the border — something he continues failing to do,” Abbott’s spokesperson added in the statement.