Regardless of origin, transportation method or intent, the focus of the L.A. Welcomes Collective this 4th of July weekend is to receive migrants with dignity and respect and in coordination with partners.
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: July 1, 2023
Contact: Alicia Vargas; email@example.com
LOS ANGELES, CA — The L.A. Welcomes Collective, a network of immigrant rights, immigration legal services providers, and faith organizations focused on migrant arrival rapid response, received a group of 41 migrants on Saturday from Brownsville, Texas, offering them support services, including food, clothing, and legal immigration consultations upon arrival and facilitating family reunions with loved ones residing in the region.
The members of the LA Welcomes Collective include: Archdiocese of Los Angeles, Clergy and Laity United for Economic Justice (CLUE-LA), Central American Resource Center-Los Angeles (CARECEN), Coalition for Humane Immigrant Rights (CHIRLA), Esperanza Immigrant Rights Project, and Immigrant Defenders Law Center (ImmDef).
The following statements can be attributed to each representative from the following organizations:
“Independent of origin, mode of transportation or motive, Los Angeles is organized and ready to receive these asylum seekers when they get here. If Los Angeles is their last destination, we will ensure this is the place where they get a genuine and humane reception,” stated Angelica Salas, Executive Director of the Coalition for Humane Immigrant Rights of Los Angeles (CHIRLA). “As we have indicated before, the more time we have to coordinate and prepare our response, the better we can serve these men, women, and children. As we approach the long 4th of July weekend, it is befitting to remember that migrants also know struggle and perseverance, and they too seek a better tomorrow where their lives will be valued and celebrated under the banners of justice and compassion.”
“With great love and dignity, we extend a warm welcome to our newly arrived brothers and sisters in Los Angeles” stated Martha Arevalo, CARECEN Executive Director. “CARECEN is honored to work with our partners at the L.A. Welcomes Collective in our joint effort to provide comprehensive support and essential resources to all migrants who have recently arrived.”
“CLUE is honored to continue to stand in solidarity with newly arrived asylum seekers to Los Angeles by welcoming them with dignity and compassion. Thanks to many faith leaders we have many congregations that have provided in the past support and are currently providing support today also along with our friends and partners in the LA Welcoming Collective to those fleeing violence and horrible conditions in their country,” stated Guillermo Torres, CLUE-Clergy and Laity United for Economic Justice.
“We are grateful we were given advance notice by the City of Brownsville, Texas, that a busload of migrants was coming to LA. This gave us the opportunity to proudly work alongside our partner organizations to prepare to welcome these families with dignity. We stand ready to ensure they receive accurate legal information, that they know the next steps in their case, and that all their urgent legal needs are met. Migration is beautiful and migrants arrive in Los Angeles every day. We’ll do our best to meet every bus, every plane with open arms—every time,” stated Immigrant Defenders Law Center Executive Director Lindsay Toczylowski.
“The Archdiocese of Los Angeles continues to serve along with other organizations as a community that strives to honor and restore the dignity found in each person. We greet the migrants that have arrived with open arms, recognizing the face of Christ in each of them. Every human being is made in the image and likeness of God. Therefore, we recognize the sacredness of our migrant brothers and sisters,” said Michael P. Donaldson, Senior Director Office of Life, Justice and Peace, Archdiocese of Los Angeles.
“In collaboration with our partner organizations in both Brownsville and Southern California, the Haitian Bridge Alliance will continue to welcome these families with dignity, love, and compassion. Providing them with the assistance they need is our priority. Our goal is to ensure that we center the reality of the impacted community members in search of protection in a coordinated and compassionate manner, rejecting the exploitation of individuals for political gain. We are extremely grateful to our partners in Brownsville for making sure that our newly arrived neighbors have food, water, and other necessities for their journey to California," stated Haitian Bridge Alliance’s Executive Director Guerline Jozef.
Immigrant Defenders Law Center (ImmDef) is a next-generation social justice law firm that defends our immigrant communities against injustices in the legal system. We envision a future where no immigrant will be forced to face immigration court alone. Our programs are a first step towards the long-term goal of providing universal representation to all immigrants facing deportation. ImmDef is now the largest non‐profit, pro bono provider of deportation defense in California with offices in Los Angeles, Adelanto, Riverside, Santa Ana, and San Diego.