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How community groups helped hundreds of migrants bused in from Texas

By Ross Palombo

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    LOS ANGELES (KCAL, KCBS) — For months, migrants have arrived in Los Angeles on controversial buses chartered from Texas. With a lack of coordination from the Lone Star state, community groups stepped in to help bring things under control and helped hundreds across Southern California.

“People just started showing up,” Founder of the Haitian Bridge Alliance Guerline Jozef said. “It was created chaos. Unnecessary created chaos, I would say.”

In these heartbreaking scenes of chaos, Jozef has always seen hope. For months, she and a coalition of organizations have banded together to help the incoming migrants. This inspired an entirely new network of help which turned into the backbone of a nationwide effort.

“People like me, Americans like me, have come together around the country,” she said. “In LA, we are receiving people. In San Diego, we are receiving people — in New York, in Chicago, in Denver.”

By working together the coalition has extended its reach into Texas and Mexico, allowing the migration of vital information to arrive first, paving and preparing the way for travelers in need.

“We know what to expect and how to receive them … because of the network we have been able to build,” Jozef said.

The key preparation has helped more than 90,000 arrive, according to new numbers from Texas. Most were sent to New York, Chicago and Denver.

Jozef believes Texas Gov. Greg Abbott designed it all to hurt Democratically-led cities.

“He has laid a trap,” Jozef said. “That is exactly where we are. We are seeing that here in California. We are seeing it around the country that what was meant to really degrade migrants and asylum seekers has been turned around into a way to fuel the country to become welcoming communities.”

Jozef has set up a new center to keep up with the new migrants that she has welcomed into Southern California.

Since May, Los Angeles has welcomed 1,300 people from Texas. Jozef said organizations like hers have helped the vast majority connect with sponsors or even found them places to stay.

“I think 1,300 miracles, and we are hoping to turn into successes, and I know for a fact that 5 years from now, they will be sitting with you,” Jozef said.

Tears started to flow when Jozef started to talk about the next wave, but not for the migrants.

“The tears for me is mostly like people like Abbott,” Jozef said. “I hope that one day his heart will be opened to humanity so he can know the love and the joy that I have come to know by meeting those people — and what justice and fairness really means.”

Jozef represents one of about 10 groups who have been helping in L.A. As for the Texas governor, his emergency management division issued a statement saying it is not involved in coordinating with any nonprofits.

Mayor Karen Bass said LA and the county have been coordinating with nonprofits.

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