Newsom Investigating Whether DeSantis flew Asylum Seekers from Texas to California

June 6, 2023

Officials in California were investigating Tuesday whether Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis (R) initiated a flight of asylum seekers from Texas to Sacramento.

On Monday, California Gov. Gavin Newsom (D) appeared to threaten to charge DeSantis with kidnapping. 

Newsom tweeted out an insult against DeSantis, adding: “This isn’t Martha’s Vineyard. Kidnapping charges?”

The California governor then posted an excerpt from his state’s legal code, which states, “Every person who, being out of this state, abducts or takes by force or fraud any person contrary to the law of the place where that act is committed, and brings, sends, or conveys that person within the limits of this state, and is afterwards found within the limits thereof, is guilty of kidnapping.”

In September DeSantis had claimed credit for sending two planes of migrants to Martha’s Vineyard, saying states like Massachusetts, New York and California are “incentivizing illegal immigration through their designation as ‘sanctuary states.”

It turned out those migrants sent to Martha’s Vineyard had also come from Texas, and they filed suit against the Florida governor while Bexar County, Texas Sheriff Javier Salazar opened a criminal investigation into the flights.

On Monday, Salazar filed criminal charges against DeSantis over the flights to Martha’s Vineyard.

According to California’s Newsom, this past Friday 16 migrants from Venezuela and Colombia were transported from Texas to New Mexico and flown on a chartered jet to Sacramento.

On Monday, another plane carrying 20 more migrants arrived in Sacramento. According to California’s Department of Justice, both Friday’s and Monday’s groups were transported by the same contractor and were carrying documents indicating that their transportation involved the state of Florida.

DeSantis, who is running for President in 2024, has been a fierce critic of the Biden Administration’s immigration policies.

In late May, DeSantis sent Florida National Guard troops to the Texas border.

Republican governors from the border states of Texas and Arizona have previously sent thousands of migrants on buses to Democratic-controlled cities such as New York, Chicago and Washington. 

However, the migrants sent to Sacramento differ in that they reportedly never went through Florida, which is not a state with any land on the U.S.-Mexico Border. Rather, the two groups were approached in El Paso by people with Florida-linked paperwork before being ultimately sent to Sacramento, according to California officials.

DeSantis representatives did not respond to written questions from The Los Angeles Times, nor did DeSantis mention the Sacramento incidents on a Monday morning appearance on Fox News radio.

Read more exclusive news from Political IQ.

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