Gov. Newsom wants DOJ to investigate Florida for migrant flights

California officials say migrants are being coaxed into taking flights to Sacramento under false pretenses.
Gov. Gavin Newsom speaks during a news conference.
Posted at 2:31 PM, Jul 07, 2023

California state officials have sent a letter to the Department of Justice regarding recent instances of asylum seekers being transported to the state. 

California Gov. Gavin Newsom and state Attorney General Rob Bonta signed the letter addressed to Attorney General Merrick Garland. Joining California officials signing the letter was Bexar County, Texas, Sheriff Javier Salazar. 

The letter accuses Florida officials of deceiving migrants "based on promises of jobs and shelter." 

The officials say based on Salazar's investigation, migrants were "induced to accept free travel based on false representations that they would be transported from San Antonio to Martha’s Vineyard and receive housing, education, and employment opportunities." The officials say that migrants who traveled to Sacramento last month may have been "similarly induced by deceptive representations about access to jobs, housing, or other services."

The California officials said the California Department of Justice has opened an investigation into the circumstances of the flights. 

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Last month, Newsom appeared to take exception to Florida’s policy of sending undocumented immigrants to other states, suggesting that Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis could be charged with kidnapping. 

In the tweet, Newsom called DeSantis a "small, pathetic man." 

"This isn’t Martha’s Vineyard. Kidnapping charges?" Newsom said, adding a screenshot of California's kidnapping law. 

DeSantis, along with Texas Gov. Greg Abbott, have openly discussed sending migrants to Democrat-led cities in retaliation for "sanctuary city" policies. 

In February, DeSantis signed Senate Bill 6B, which created the Unauthorized Alien Transport Program. The program and its $10 million of funding allow the State of Florida to transfer migrants from one state to another. 

In May, DeSantis signed a bill he deemed to be the "strongest anti-illegal immigration" legislation in the U.S. The bill added another $12 million to the Unauthorized Alien Transport Program.

"The Biden Border Crisis has wreaked havoc across the United States and has put Americans in danger," said DeSantis. "In Florida, we will not stand idly by while the federal government abandons its lawful duties to protect our country."