California Governor Gavin Newsom slammed Florida Governor Ron DeSantis, calling him a “small, pathetic man,” in response to the arrival of two groups of migrants in Sacramento.
Newsom took to Twitter to suggest kidnapping charges against DeSantis and shared a screenshot that included a portion of the California penal code related to kidnapping.
“@RonDeSantis, you small, pathetic man. This isn’t Martha’s Vineyard,” Newsom wrote, adding: “Kidnapping charges?”
.@RonDeSantis you small, pathetic man.
This isn't Martha's Vineyard.
— Gavin Newsom (@GavinNewsom) June 5, 2023
Attorney General Rob Bonta said Florida had arranged for the first group, which were South American migrants, to be transported from Texas to California and dropped off in Sacramento, noting that he’s evaluating whether violations of civil or criminal law took place.
The California Department of Justice made contact with the second group of migrants, who arrived on a private flight operated by Vertol Systems Co. The migrants had documents that appeared to be issued by the state of Florida.
The 16 Colombian and Venezuelan migrants who turned up at the Roman Catholic Church diocese’s headquarters in Sacramento on Friday are the latest to have been moved from a Republican-led state to one led by Democrats.
There are concerns about the deceptive treatment of the migrants, who were initially processed by U.S. immigration officials in El Paso before being approached by individuals claiming to help them find jobs and reach their intended destinations. The migrants ended up in Sacramento, unaware of their location.
The relocation program has been a focus of Governor DeSantis, who allocated millions of dollars to it. The incident has further strained the political tension between DeSantis and Newsom, who hold contrasting views on various issues.
Sacramento Mayor Darrell Steinberg condemned the use of scared individuals for political gain, demanding accountability from those responsible.