McALLEN, Texas (Border Report) — Calling the recent flights and busing of migrants from Florida and Texas “sadistic” and “cruel,” the president of LULAC explained to Border Report why his nonprofit organization on Sunday bused a group of migrants from the South Texas border.
Domingo Garcia, national president for the League of United Latin American Citizens, was on-board his organization’s “Freedom Bus” as it loaded 32 migrants from a migrant center in Eagle Pass, Texas, and drove them to San Antonio and Dallas on Sunday.
He said before they boarded, he spoke with 500 migrants at the Mission Border Hope refugee shelter in Eagle Pass where he explained where they would go and why the group’s 20 volunteers were helping them.
“There was a woman with a 4-week-old child and two little children who didn’t have $50 to pay for a bus from Eagle Pass to San Antonio, and there were other families, and moms with little children in the same condition. So we gave them a ride from Eagle Pass to San Antonio,” Garcia told Border Report on Monday via Zoom.
Garcia’s group originally had intended to form a human chain to try to stop a bus filled with migrants from leaving Eagle Pass on Sunday as part of Operation Lone Star, but he said no buses were scheduled to depart. That’s when they decided to ask migrants if they wanted a ride on their bus instead.
Twenty-six migrants were driven to San Antonio; six migrants went to Dallas.
All were Venezuelans who had legally been released on humanitarian parole by the Department of Homeland Security, and all were dropped off at refugee centers that were going to help them with further travel plans, as well as ensure they have supplies, a place to rest and food. In a tweet Sunday, Garcia said the bus ride “informed refugees and immigrants of their legal rights, warned them of those lying and cheating them.”
LULAC’s bus ride came after migrants were flown from Florida to Massachusetts and dropped off at the vice president’s home at the U.S. Naval Observatory in Washington, D.C., from Texas, last week, and provided a twist on the transportation of migrants across the country in what has become a politically divisive issue.
“It was totally rigged for propaganda purposes but they were using human beings like that. It’s cruel. It’s mean. It’s sadistic politics,” Garcia said.
Garcia said he was in Washington, D.C., at the time and spoke to many of the migrants who were dropped off.
“Immigrants had literally been dumped at 6 a.m. in the morning on the curb, on the sidewalks of the vice president’s house. So we went there and met with some of them and then I found out another group of immigrants had been dropped off in Martha’s Vineyard — literally flown in under false pretenses. They were lied to. They were tricked,” Garcia said. “And they all came from Eagle Pass, Texas.”
Garcia then flew to Martha’s Vineyard, where he said he spoke to the arriving migrants who said they did not know they were ending up on the island.
He calls the buses and flights “gutter politics at its worst” and says migrants are being used as “political props.”
“Do what’s right. Get them where they need to be. Provide them with decent human services. That’s what they deserve,” he said.
He said many told him they were enticed on the flights by a woman in San Antonio referred to as “Perla.”
Garcia said his organization is offering up to $5,000 for information on Perla. He said they also want to put up billboards on roads leading from the South Texas border cities of Laredo, Del Rio and Eagle Pass warning migrants not to get on those buses.
San Antonio Archbishop Gustavo Garcia-Siller has openly criticized busing migrants out of Texas to cities without their knowledge.
He tweeted Sunday: “To use migrants and refugees as pawns offends God, destroys society and shows how low individuals can be for personal gains. These tactics -buses-promote human trafficking. We pray for conversion of heart. God protect our Sisters’ and brothers in need.”
Texas Gov. Greg Abbott on Friday announced that since April, over 11,000 migrants have been transported on state-funded buses supplied as part of Operation Lone Star which has delivered migrants to New York City, Chicago and Washington, D.C.
Abbott on Thursday said two buses were sent to Vice President Kamala Harris’ home in Washington, D.C. at the Naval Observatory under Operation Lone Star.
“The Biden-Harris Administration continues ignoring and denying the historic crisis at our southern border, which has endangered and overwhelmed Texas communities for almost two years,” Abbott said in a statement. “Vice President Kamala Harris has yet to even visit the border to see firsthand the impact of the open border policies she has helped implement, even going so far as to claim the border is ‘secure.’”
In June 2021, Harris traveled to the border city of El Paso with Secretary of Homeland Security Alejandro Mayorkas, Sen. Dick Durbin and El Paso Congresswoman Veronica Escobar.
Harris toured a migrant processing facility in Northeast El Paso, spoke with Border Patrol agents and met with five young girls from Central America before touring the Paso Del Nort Port of Entry in Downtown El Paso.
Garcia agrees that border communities need more federal resources.
“There’s only so much that charity can do. It’s time for the federal government to step in and provide these border cities — whether it’s Eagle Pass, Del Rio or down in McAllen — the resources they need to deal with this humanitarian crisis,” Garcia said.