Migrants arrive in Sacramento; CA immigrant rights advocates on standby for more arrivals

BySuzanne Phan KGO logo
Thursday, September 22, 2022
Migrants arrive in Sacramento; CA on standby for more arrivals
Eight migrants from Venezuela somehow ended up in Sacramento last week, as more are expected to arrive in California.

SAN FRANCISCO (KGO) -- Immigrant rights advocates in California are on standby for the possibility of migrants arriving here by bus or plane.

We're learning more about the eight people who were mysteriously sent to Sacramento last week from Texas.

Eight migrants from Venezuela with no cash, no food - some of them injured - somehow ended up in Sacramento last week.

Several men said they flew from Texas to California on Thursday and landed at Sacramento Airport.

They were told their ICE paperwork reassigned them to California's capitol city.

RELATED: 2 busloads of migrants dropped off near VP Harris' residence

They showed up, walked 20 miles to a shelter in downtown Sacramento only to find a closed office building.

"It was very confusing for them because Sacramento was not on their radar some of them were thinking of going to New York. Some to Florida, to Utah," said NorCal Resist volunteer Autumn Gonzalez.

NorCal Resist provides services to migrants and advocates for immigrant rights.

They stepped up to help the men, offering them a hotel to stay in for the week.

"I think the most troubling part is sending them to a shelter that doesn't actually exist and they could have ended up sleeping outside, if good natured people hadn't helped them find help," said Gonzalez.

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As for what happens next...

"If they plan on staying on staying in Sacramento, which they are - we are going to work with them to get apartments and legal help," said Gonzalez.

Last Friday, ABC7 News asked Governor Newsom about the governors of Florida and Texas sending migrants to places like Martha's Vineyard.

"Those migrants are used as pawn, to humiliate and dehumanize," said Newsom.

We asked if the Golden State is able and equipped -- if migrants suddenly arrive from Texas or Florida.

RELATED: Florida Gov. DeSantis flew 2 planes of immigrants to Martha's Vineyard

Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis' office says flights to the Massachusetts island are an effort to "transport illegal immigrants to sanctuary destinations."

Governor Newsom says California has opened migrant facilities in San Diego and other places.

"They invested hundreds, millions of dollars to compassionately take care of people who are coming here for asylum in this state," said Newsom.

La Raza Del Centro Legal has worked with migrants for decades. As for what happened in Sacramento:

"I think it's extremely disrespectful and a violation of these migrants' human rights," said Executive Director Amanda Alvardo.

As for the possibility of more migrants coming this way?

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"We'll have to stand and watch how many people end up coming our way, from Texas and other border regions," said Alvardo.

Local leaders say we have a robust network of government agencies, nonprofit and legal aid groups, and refugee resettlement agencies that are equipped to offer migrants help.

Many of those groups have helped resettle refugees from Syria, Afghanistan, and Ukraine.

Meanwhile, the lawsuit filed on behalf of the migrants flown to Martha's Vineyard nearly a week ago had its first ruling.

The judge granted the motion to keep the names of the Venezuelan migrants confidential because of the death threats they're receiving.

There are reports another busload of migrants is set to arrive at Chicago's Union Station Wednesday.

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