Local news sources are telling the media that a caravan of buses has just arrived in Santa Barbara, California. We have not been able to independently verify this, but we are told it is carrying approximately 400 people, mostly women and children.
The buses are unmarked and do not appear to be escorted in any way. The buses are currently parked in front of the Santa Barbara County Public Works Administration offices and we understand representatives are currently meeting to discuss what to do with these refugees who arrived without any advanced notice.
Inside the buses are women and children, some of which are as young as 2 years old. No all of them are escorted by their parents, though most of the adults, we are told, are in some way related to at least one of the children.
Apparently, these buses began their journey in the inner cities of Chicago, where just this past weekend rampant violence resulted in over a dozen gun-related murders. We are told the refugees are trying to escape drugs, gangs, child abuse and sexual assault, domestic violence including rape, and the wanton disregard for human life of the inner cities of Chicago.
California's generous welfare and children's protection laws are apparently one of the reasons these frightened and in many cases hungry, empty-handed bus riders chose to come to Santa Barbara. The beautiful, largely upper-middle class bedroom community offers warm weather, established community service organizations, churches and volunteer groups that could help find support, housing and healthcare resources.
A spokesperson, who asked to remain anonymous because she was not authorized to speak to the media, said there are literally hundreds more of these caravans planned to continue bringing these inner city victims of violence and fear from Chicago, and then soon to be followed by busloads from Detroit and New Orleans.
News crews are scrabbling to get to the area, but because resources are currently spread across the Southern Border towns of Texas, Arizona and California, and in distribution centers in Murrietta and Chula Vista California, they are running low on camera trucks and reporters.