Los Angeles is preparing to sue Texas over Gov. Greg Abbott’s migrant busing program, which has sent more than 400 people there.
On Wednesday, the Los Angeles City Council voted unanimously to investigate whether there are legal charges they can pursue against Texas, with one member asking if the city could look into Abbott’s program constituting kidnapping.
Abbott has already sent 11 buses to the city since June and won’t stop until the city takes legal action, said Los Angeles City Council member Kevin De León.
“He’s just going to continue to do it because he has no incentive at all whatsoever until there is legal teeth put to this,” De León said just before the city council voted unanimously to pursue legal action.
Councilmember Hugo Soto-Martinez said earlier that the city has to investigate whether “Gov. Greg Abbott committed kidnapping, human trafficking or any other crimes when he sent vulnerable families on a 23-hour bus ride with little or no food or water.”
Soto-Martinez and others specifically pointed to Abbott sending a busload of migrants to Los Angeles as Hurricane Hilary was hitting Southern California.
The vote directs Los Angeles City Attorney Hydee Feldstein Soto to investigate and begin proceedings on potential civil legal action that could be taken against Texas.
The move to sue Abbott comes weeks after Illinois officials reported that a child who boarded one of the buses in Brownsville died while headed to Chicago. Texas officials later confirmed the death but said the child’s temperature was taken when her family boarded the bus.
Abbott is already facing a federal lawsuit after the U.S. Department of Justice accused him of violating federal law by placing a buoy barrier in the Rio Grande without permission from the U.S. Army Corp of Engineers. A judge in that case is expected to rule any day on an emergency injunction that would require Abbott to remove the barriers within 10 days.
Soto-Martinez, the Los Angeles City Council member who led the debate on Wednesday, said the cruelty of the border policies from Republican governors has gone too far.
The competition among them “is just an utter failure and shows clearly that they do not have any intention to govern effectively,” Soto-Martinez said.
His comments come after Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis, who is running for president, said he wants to allow U.S. officials to shoot and kill people they suspect are smugglers who attempt to damage border walls or fences. And last summer, DeSantis followed Abbott’s lead and gathered a group of Venezuelan migrants in San Antonio and sent them to Martha’s Vineyard in Massachusetts.
The district attorney for Martha’s Vineyard has joined Bexar County Sheriff Javier Salazar in calling on the Justice Department to investigate last September’s migrant flights organized by DeSantis.
See here and here for more on the calls for a Justice Department investigation. The Bexar County Sheriff’s Office has already filed some charges over the first migrant flight from San Antonio to Martha’s Vineyard, which was arranged by Ron DeSantis. I’ll be honest, I have no idea what might get these clowns to stop doing what they’re doing. To a point, one can see Abbott’s perspective on the matter of asylum seekers arriving in large numbers in Texas, which does put a strain on the resources of border towns, but we’re miles past having any patience for his response to that, which is bottomlessly cruel and only makes the situation worse.
Even if there were a reasonable bipartisan compromise bill of some kind for immigration, border security, asylum, the whole nine yards, Abbott and the shrieking howler monkeys of the Texas GOP would do everything they could to stop it, including filing a lawsuit with one of their pet judges to put a nationwide injunction on it. He’s doing what he’s doing because it works for him politically. I’m in favor of anything that might throw some sand in his gears, but other than finally voting him out I don’t know what can be done from a big picture perspective. The Current has more.