California Gov. Gavin Newsom (D) doubled down on possible criminal charges against Florida officials over the two recent flights of migrants sent from Florida.
In an interview with Politico on Tuesday, Newsom expressed concerns that some of the migrants flown to Sacramento may have been deceived and transported under false pretenses and rejected the Florida state government’s claim that the migrants had traveled voluntarily.
“When you have the smoking gun, which is the paperwork in hand that everyone hands over to you, it’s pretty self-evident,” Newsom told Politico.
Newsom’s remarks came after California Attorney General Rob Bonta (D) said that Florida bore responsibility for the arrival of a private plane carrying South American migrants without any prior arrangements or appropriate care. Another flight carrying asylum-seekers arrived on Monday.
The Florida Division of Emergency Management confirmed its involvement in these flights on Tuesday.
Alecia Collins, a spokesperson for the Florida Division of Emergency Management, argued that relocation of individuals crossing the border had occurred in other Democratic-run cities, such as El Paso, Texas, and Denver, Colorado, without similar outcry.
“From left-leaning mayors in El Paso, Texas, and Denver, Colorado, the relocation of those illegally crossing the United States border is not new,” spokesperson Alecia Collins told The Hill. “But suddenly, when Florida sends illegal aliens to a sanctuary city, it’s false imprisonment and kidnapping.”
Bonta said after the flights landed that California was conducting an investigation and considering any criminal charges of civil action that might be taken. He said the flights might be instances of “state-sanctioned kidnapping.”
Newsom called Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis (R) a “small, pathetic man” and raised the possibility of kidnapping charges being filed over the flights.
DeSantis is among the Republican governors who have transported migrants arriving in their states to Democratic-controlled cities via planes or buses to protest federal immigration policies at the U.S.-Mexico border. In September, DeSantis sent two planes of migrants to Martha’s Vineyard in Massachusetts.
Newsom emphasized the gravity of the ongoing investigation and stated that any charges would be based on a thorough review of the facts.
“All this does is reinforce the cruelty of this act and the manipulative nature of the act and the stunt that this is — the shameful nature of it. We are very serious about pursuing action if the facts dictate it, and Mr. DeSantis should know that,” Newsom declared.