California Democrats Again Delay Expanded Food Benefits for Undocumented Immigrants. Here’s Why

California legislation that would have expanded food assistance benefits to all undocumented immigrants won’t be moving forward this year.

Two identical measures, AB 311 and SB 245, have been made into two-year bills, meaning they won’t be taken up again until 2024. The decision follows advocates securing a win in the latest state budget, with the issuance of food benefits for older undocumented Californians being moved up to 2025.

That success, along with the acknowledgment that a full expansion would not be funded this year, led to the bills being postponed.

“The reality is that the bill, even if it makes it to the governor’s desk if it doesn’t have full funding, it might not get signed,” said Sen. Melissa Hurtado, D-Sanger, who authored SB 245.

Hurtado had introduced the measure for a second consecutive year. This year, she and advocates took a two-pronged approach with Assemblyman Miguel Santiago, D-Los Angeles, introducing an identical version of the bill.

Together, the two lawmakers had hoped to continue building on the social safety net for the state’s roughly 2.3 million undocumented immigrants.

But lack of funding continues to be the main obstacle. Both lawmakers said they plan to move their bills forward next year.

“By no means is this fight done,” Santiago said. “People are hungry. We intend to make sure that food is accessible to all documented or undocumented.”

Anti-hunger advocates with the Food4All campaign have praised Newsom since June 2022 when California made history with an agreement to provide undocumented residents over 55 with food assistance. About 75,000 Californians are expected to start receiving benefits when the rollout begins in October 2025.

But advocates also question the age cutoff, noting that nearly half of undocumented Californians deal with food insecurity, according to an April 2022 report by Nourish California.

“It’s really resting on the governor that he supports Food4All and what it represents and laying out a plan for how we are going to get those additional age groups included,” Benyamin Chao, a health and public benefits policy manager at the California Immigrant Policy Center.

Click here to read the full article in the Sacramento Bee via Yahoo News

Fourth Bus of Migrants Sent From Texas Arrives In L.A. With 41 Aboard, Including 6 Children

A bus carrying 41 migrants arrived at Union Station on Tuesday evening, according to Mayor Karen Bass, the fourth sent to Los Angeles by Texas Gov. Greg Abbott.

“One bus with migrants on board from Texas arrived around 6:30 p.m PT today at Union Station,” said Zach Seidl, a spokesperson for Bass’ office. “The city has continued to work with city departments, the county and a coalition of nonprofit organizations, in addition to our faith partners, to execute a plan set in place earlier this year. As we have before, when we became aware of the bus yesterday, we activated our plan.”

Abbott’s office confirmed a bus from Texas arrived Tuesday in L.A.

The city opened a temporary emergency shelter for 14 of the people while officials try to make arrangements for their travel or pickup, according to the mayor’s office.

According to the Coalition for Humane Immigrant Rights (CHIRLA), about half of the people aboard the bus were from Venezuela, with others coming from Brazil, Chile, China, Colombia, Guatemala, Haiti and Honduras. A spokesperson for the nonprofit said the bus left Brownsville, Texas, at 4:25 p.m. Monday.

The group comprised 35 adults and six children, including a 1-year-old, the coalition said in a statement. Initially, 45 asylum seekers left Texas, but a family of four got off the bus in Arizona to meet with their sponsors, according to a spokesperson for the coalition.

After the bus arrived at Union Station, the asylum seekers received a full meal, clothing, hygiene kits and a basic health screening, CHIRLA said. Over a dozen in the group plan to stay in Los Angeles, while others will continue to other destinations, including Phoenix, Washington state and elsewhere in California, the coalition said.

Since the first bus arrived at Union Station in mid-June, the coalition has welcomed 154 migrants sent from Texas to Los Angeles by the Abbott administration.

“We do not mistake these busing episodes as well-intentioned. Texas and Florida have shown a callous disregard to the human experience, especially as it relates to asylum seekers with black and brown skin,” Angelica Salas, CHIRLA’s executive director, said in a statement. “Busing migrants anywhere in the middle of a scorching summer is not kind, it is cruel and unjustified.

“As an organized collective in Los Angeles and as advocates for a more humane and just society for immigrants, we will do what we must to protect the dignity and safety of these families whenever they arrive,” Salas said.

Click here to read the full article in the LA Times

Trump threatens to permanently close border if needed

donald-trump-2President Donald Trump is seizing on an attempt by 500 migrants to rush the southern border to use immigration as an issue to bolster his presidency at a critical political moment.

Trump spent weeks ahead of the midterm elections warning that the United States was about to experience an invasion from a migrant caravan trekking north across Mexico, and sent troops to the border in what critics branded a political stunt.

He seized on unrest at the frontier on Sunday to hike pressure on Mexico and to squeeze his political opponents in Washington as he demands financing for his border wall in a looming government funding showdown.

“Mexico should move the flag waving Migrants, many of whom are stone cold criminals, back to their countries,” Trump tweeted early Monday morning. …

Click here to read the full article from Fox 5 San Diego

Mexico deporting nearly 500 migrants after California border blitz

The Mexican government announced Sunday evening that it will deport nearly 500 migrants who rushed the U.S. border between Tijuana and San Diego, Calif.

In a statement, Mexico’s interior department said these migrants were captured with the help of local authorities of the government from the state of Baja California and will be deported after attempting to cross the border “violently” and “illegally.”

Videos and photos of the migrants, including children, crossing a footbridge over a canal in Tijuana as they headed to the border were posted to social media. The incident prompted both the U.S. and Mexico to shut down the port of entry on their respective sides. …

Click here to read the full article from The Washington Examiner