Ron DeSantis says migrants are better off as Newsom calls for DOJ investigation

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Florida Governor Ron DeSantis said he was trying to help the migrants by taking them to Martha’s Vineyard. But California Governor Gavin Newsom said DeSantis should be investigated for possible kidnapping and racketeering charges.

The polarizing pair of politically opposed governors sparked their dueling responses a day after DeSantis’ office confirmed that Florida’s new “relocation” program had transported migrants to the upscale vacation spot. Ignoring critics who called the resettlement cruel, DeSantis, a Republican, said Florida was sending migrants to a self-proclaimed receiving jurisdiction. But Newsom, a Democrat, reacted in disgust, calling on the Department of Justice (DOJ) to investigate.

Florida on Wednesday sent two planes of undocumented immigrants to Martha’s Vineyard, an island off Massachusetts accessible only by boat or plane. The move was strongly denounced by Massachusetts State Representative Dylan Fernandes, who called it “evil and inhumane,” and by the White House, who called it a “cruel political coup.”

California Governor Gavin Newsom, left, speaks during the Vox Media 2022 Code Conference on September 7, 2022 in Beverly Hills, California. Florida Governor Ron DeSantis, right, speaks during the Unite and Win rally in support of Republican Pennsylvania gubernatorial candidate Doug Mastriano at the Wyndham Hotel on August 19, 2022 in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. DeSantis defended his program to relocate migrants to Martha’s Vineyard, saying it helps them, while Newsom blasted the move and called for a federal investigation.
JEROD HARRIS/GETTY PICTURE FOR VOX MEDIA; JEFF SWENSON/GETTY IMAGES

Speaking at a press conference on Thursday, DeSantis slammed President Joe Biden for allowing “millions and millions of people” and illegal drugs, including fentanyl, to enter the United States illegally. . DeSantis said he would help migrants reach so-called “sanctuary jurisdictions,” states and cities that limit their cooperation with federal authorities to deport immigrants.

“If you have people who are inclined to think Florida is a good place, our message to them is that we are not a sanctuary state, and it is better to be able to go to a sanctuary jurisdiction,” he said. declared. “And yes, we’ll help make that transportation easier so you can go to greener pastures.”

The DeSantis relocation program follows Texas Governor Greg Abbott ferrying migrants to New York and Washington, D.C., in defiance of the immigration policies of the Biden administration and liberal jurisdictions that have taken more accommodating approaches to undocumented immigrants.

The sudden arrival of two planes carrying undocumented immigrants to Martha’s Vineyard has local officials and volunteers scrambling to meet their needs. Reports have emerged that some migrants did not know where they were and were told they would be taken to where jobs and accommodation were available.

Newsom on Wednesday sent U.S. Attorney General Merrick Garland a letter asking the DOJ to investigate possible criminal and civil violations by Abbott or DeSantis.

“Like millions of Americans, I have been horrified by the images of migrants being loaded onto buses and planes across the country to be used as political props,” Newsom wrote. “Obviously, transporting families, including children, across state lines under false pretences is morally wrong, but it can also be illegal.”

Newsom wrote that several migrants taken to Martha’s Vineyard said a recruiter falsely told them they would be taken to Boston where they would receive expedited work authorization. If true, Newsom said it would signify an attempt to “humiliate and dehumanize” migrants because of their national origin.

Newsom asked Garland to consider possible prosecution under kidnapping and organized crime laws as well as civil rights violations.

Newsweek contacted DeSantis for a response.

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