OPINION: This article may contain commentary which reflects the author's opinion.
A noted blue state governor who has been mentioned as a possible 2024 Democratic presidential contender has threatened a noted red state governor who has already gotten into the race with “kidnapping charges.”
California Gov. Gavin Newsom appeared to make the threat over Gov. Ron DeSantis’ flying illegal migrants from South America to Sacramento, reports said on Tuesday.
In a tweet on Monday, Gavin cited California kidnapping laws and referred to DeSantis as a “small, pathetic man” despite the fact that California, under his and other Democrats’ leadership, has long claimed to be a “sanctuary state” for illegal migrants.
“This isn’t Martha’s Vineyard. Kidnapping charges?” Newsom tweeted, making a reference to a previous incident where DeSantis flew a planeload of illegals from Texas to the ritzy enclave in Massachusetts.
Fox News added:
More than a dozen migrants were transported from Texas to New Mexico before being flown to Sacramento and left on the doorstep of a local church Friday “without any advance warning,” Newsom said over the weekend.
On Monday, a plane carrying 20 more migrants arrived in Sacramento. California Department of Justice officials said both groups were flown by the same contractor and were carrying documents linking the state of Florida to their relocation, the Los Angeles Times reported.
“My Administration is also working with the California Department of Justice to investigate the circumstances around who paid for the group’s travel and whether the individuals orchestrating this trip misled anyone with false promises or have violated any criminal laws, including kidnapping,” Newsom claimed.
On Saturday, California Attorney General Rob Bonta released a separate statement revealing his office has launched an investigation into the migrant flights.
He said the state is “evaluating potential criminal or civil action against those who transported or arranged for the transport of these vulnerable immigrants.”
“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,” Bonta noted. “We are a nation built by immigrants and we must condemn the cruelty and hateful rhetoric of those, whether they are state leaders or private parties, who refuse to recognize humanity and who turn their backs on extending dignity and care to fellow human beings.”
Earlier this year, DeSantis signed legislation allocating $12 million to Florida for the continuation of its “Unauthorized Alien Transport Program.” The program aims to transfer undocumented immigrants to states with sanctuary city policies as a means to highlight what DeSantis perceives as Democratic hypocrisy regarding asylum seekers and as a form of protest against federal immigration policies under the Biden administration.
DeSantis has been accused in the past of “falsely” luring migrants into being sent to sanctuary cities and states.
Several Democrats accused DeSantis of legal violations including “human trafficking” in September after he sent the migrants to Martha’s Vineyard, the latter a charge leveled against him by Newsom, who made the allegation in a letter sent to U.S. Attorney General Merrick Garland.
Some have also said DeSantis “falsely lured” or “enticed” the migrants to the island off of Massachusetts, claims he addressed during a news conference.
“I think that’s totally false,” he said in answer to a question from a reporter. “I think if you look, the folks that are contracted, not only do they give them a release form to sign, they actually give them a packet and in that packet included a map of Martha’s Vineyard. So it was obvious that that’s where they were going, and they gave that to them.
“And here’s the thing, it’s all voluntary because it’s just the type of thing where we think that’s the right way to do it,” DeSantis added, according to The Daily Wire. “I mean, I think that if the states could send, I would send back to Mexico or back to the home country.”