Immigrants who were flown to California from Texas don’t know who paid for their flights or why they were flown there

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The men, who crossed the border in Laredo, Texas, said they were confused as to why they were sent to California.

Photo: CHANDAN KHANNA/AFP/Getty Images

Eight Venezuelan immigrants were flown last week from Texas to Sacramento with little cash, some without shoes, and they have no idea why they were sent or who paid for the flightsan advocacy group told the Los Angeles Times.

The men, who crossed the border in Laredo, Texas, intended to travel to New York, Florida or Utah and said they were confused as to why they were sent to Californiawhere none of them had contacts or prospects.

Three immigrants landed Thursday morning in Sacramento, then walked about 20 miles to an address listed on US Immigration and Customs Enforcement paperwork where they were told they would find shelter.

Instead, the men arrived at a closed office building in downtown Sacramento, said Autumn Gonzalez, a volunteer with NorCal Resist, which provides services to immigrants and advocates for immigrant rights.

“It has never happened to us before that people show up randomly, needing housing or assistance,” González said.

A security guard at the closed building pointed the migrants to a food bank, where they were able to obtain food and clothing. NorCal Resist was then contacted to see if it could help the men.

“They said, ‘They don’t have food, they don’t have money, they don’t know anyone here. Can you help them?’” Gonzalez said, when contacted from the food bank.

He added about the men: “They didn’t ask to come to Sacramento.”

On Friday, NorCal Resist was contacted about a second group of five men who landed Thursday night and slept in a park.

The men walked in the same direction, only to find the same doors locked.

González believes the men were given the address because the building houses offices for Catholic Charities, a group that helps immigrants but does not provide services there.

Gonzalez said the eight men, who were between the ages of 20 and 40, were seeking asylum in the US.

NorCal Resist provided the men with hotel rooms and helped them consult with an immigration attorney.

“We are more than happy to help and locate them,” he said.

The eight migrants had planned to go to other parts of the country where they were told about Venezuelan communities, but are considering staying in the area.

Some have donated their time to NorCal Resist, helping the group move furniture and other donations to a Syrian refugee family.

Their paperwork states that they have to report to US Immigration and Customs Enforcement offices in Sacramento, but all the men were confused as to why.

“I’ve never seen anything like this before,” Gonzalez said.

NorCal Resist often coordinates with immigration officials and other groups in Texas if immigrants are sent to the area and need help.

Groups often coordinate resources, housing, and contacts. None of that happened this time.

“I thought it must be some mistake,” Gonzalez said.

The incident comes as the Republican governors of Florida and Texas have been transporting immigrants to other parts of the United States.

Immigrants have been unknowingly transported to New York, to Vice President Kamala Harris’ home in Washington, DC, and to Martha’s Vineyard in Massachusetts, in what critics have called a political stunt to highlight immigration at the expense of a vulnerable group. of people.

Speaking about those incidents, Gov. Ron DeSantis said Florida is “not a sanctuary state” and that he would “help make that transportation easier so they can go to greener pastures.”

Texas Governor Greg Abbott has said that by transporting migrants, “Texas is bringing the border into its backyard to ease our overwhelmed communities.”

Abbott’s office denied involvement in the eight immigrants who ended up in Sacramento. A spokesman said the governor’s office is transporting the immigrants to New York, Washington and Chicago.

DeSantis’ office did not immediately respond to requests for comment on whether his office was involved in bringing the migrants to Sacramento.

Read more
* The US exceeds 2 million migrants detained for the first time during fiscal year 2022
* Pressure on the Senate to protect “immigrants already in the United States,” including doctors and other workers
* Government of Ron DeSantis could be investigated for human trafficking by deceiving immigrants sent to Martha’s Vineyard

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