Newsom posted a tweet on Monday in which he called DeSantis a “small, pathetic man” and linked to California’s statute against kidnapping.
.@RonDeSantis you small, pathetic man.
This isn’t Martha’s Vineyard.
— Gavin Newsom (@GavinNewsom) June 5, 2023
California Attorney General Rob Bonta said in a statement that more than a dozen migrants were brought to Sacramento by private plane on Friday “with no prior arrangement or care in place.” He said that the state is investigating the incident and “evaluating potential criminal or civil action against those who transported or arranged for the transport of these vulnerable immigrants.”
Bonta added that the migrants were in possession of documentation “purporting to be from the government of the state of Florida.”
“While we continue to collect evidence, I want to say this very clearly: State-sanctioned kidnapping is not a public policy choice, it is immoral and disgusting.” He added that the state and Sacramento community will “welcome these individuals with open arms and provide them with the respect, compassion, and care they will need after such a harrowing experience.”
A spokesperson for DeSantis did not immediately return a request for comment.
Newsom compared the incident to one last year, in which dozens of migrant asylum seekers were sent on chartered plane from Texas to Martha’s Vineyard. DeSantis took credit for the transport, as his spokesperson said at the time that “states like Massachusetts, New York and California will better facilitate the care of these individuals who they have invited into our country by incentivizing illegal immigration through their designation as ‘sanctuary states.’”
Newsom’s spokesperson Anthony York elaborated on the governor’s tweet, saying that the administration “continues to work with the California Department of Justice as they investigate the circumstances behind these flights and will look to hold anyone criminally accountable for misleading, manipulating and transporting individuals under false pretenses. In California we work together to humanely welcome migrants, support our local communities and address the challenges of a broken immigration system with dignity and without stunts.”
The 16 migrants were transported from Texas and dropped off at the Catholic Diocese of Sacramento. The faith-based group Sacramento ACT said that the group was approached by a private contractor and promised jobs, per ABC News. They were bused to New Mexico and flown to Sacramento.
Bonta told ABC News that, based on his conversations with the migrants, “they were promised help finding jobs if they got on the plane, and after they got off the plane, rather than receiving any help finding jobs, as a was represented to them, they were dumped and deserted and left.”
Sacramento ACT said that a second group of migrants arrived on Monday and they are “working on intake in coordination with state and local agencies. At this time we have no further information to disclose.”
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