California Democratic Governor Gavin Newsom warned Florida Republican Governor Ron DeSantis that he may pursue charges of kidnapping due to the latter’s involvement in shipping migrants to Sacramento recently.
On Monday, Newsom tweeted directly at DeSantis to reference two planes that were full of migrants that he said DeSantis arranged to be flown to Martha’s Vineyard in Massachusetts.
This became a California problem over the last week, as two different flights were sent to the state capital of Sacramento full of migrants.
Rob Bonta, the Democratic attorney general of California, said that officials in Florida misled the migrants, promising them that they’d get help in finding jobs if they boarded the planes that traveled from Texas to California. However, the migrants were later just “dumped and deserted” once the planes landed.
Bonta told local media outlet KCRA that his office has obtained evidence that shows the two different flights were part of a “scheme [that’s] official policy of the state of Florida whereby the state of Florida used public tax dollars to fund this program, the so-called voluntary transportation program.”
The investigation by the AG found that the company that was hired to fly the migrants to California was Vertol Systems. That’s the same company that officials in Florida hired to fly the 48 undocumented migrants to Massachusetts last fall.
A spokesperson for Bonta’s office said that those migrants who arrived in California “carried documents indicating that their transportation to California involved the State of Florida.”
As Bonta told ABC, there were 36 migrants on the two planes, one of which landed Monday and one of which landed Friday. He added:
“All arrows point to this is the official program … of Ron DeSantis’ state of Florida.”
Newsom’s office issued a statement Monday saying that the governor met directly with Bonta and more than a dozen of the migrants who “were transported from Texas to New Mexico before being flown by private chartered jet to Sacramento and dumped on the doorstep of a local church without any advance warning.”
Lawyers for Civil Rights, a group that is launching a class action lawsuit on behalf of the migrants who were sent to Martha’s Vineyard, said they had attorneys who were “now on the ground in Sacramento” to provide them with assistance.
In related news, a sheriff in Texas on Monday recommended that criminal charges be filed in the Martha’s Vineyard case. His office, which is located in Bexar County, didn’t specifically mention who should be charged, though.
Sending migrants to other parts of the country has become a policy of the DeSantis administration in Florida. Earlier this year, the governor – who has officially filed to run for president in 2024 – signed a bill that expands a program in the state that relocates migrants from various parts of the country to major cities that are led by Democrats.
It’s being done as a protest against the border and immigration policies that are coming out of the Biden administration and overwhelmingly affecting Republican-led areas of the country.