On Monday, a second plane allegedly coordinated by Florida to bring in migrants landed in Sacramento.
Roughly 20 migrants landed in California’s capital on a flight leased from Texas to New Mexico on Monday, following the arrival of 16 migrants from Colombia and Venezuela on Friday.
According to Tara Gallegos, a spokesperson for California Attorney General Rob Bonta, it is unclear where the most recent arrivals are from. Still, it appears that the same company planned their travel.
Bonta claims he is looking into the possibility of criminal activity.
The first set of refugees was brought to the Sacramento headquarters of the Roman Catholic Church diocese.
Gallegos said the paperwork showed the passengers had been moved as part of a program coordinated by the Florida Division of Emergency Management and executed by contractor Vertol Systems Co. The files, she explained, are vital to ongoing investigations and hence cannot be released.
Vertol Systems did not respond to calls for comment, and neither the Florida Division of Emergency Management nor Republican Governor Ron DeSantis has confirmed the state’s involvement.
Bonta said in a statement, “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,”
These people entered the United States via Texas. U.S. immigration officials had already processed the young women and men and given court dates for their asylum cases, Eddie Carmona, campaign director at PICO California.
This faith-based group aids migrants when “individuals representing a private contractor” approached them outside a migrant center in El Paso, Texas, offering to help them find jobs and travel to their final destinations.
“They were lied to and intentionally deceived,” Carmona said, adding that the migrants had been dumped off in Sacramento and had no idea where they were.
He said they have court dates in Texas and all around the United States, and nobody intended to wind up in California.
Although asylum seekers can change where they appear in court, most don’t bother, at least not for their first court date. They consider it a given, albeit a tremendously inconvenient one.
DeSantis, a Republican candidate for president, has been a vocal opponent of the Obama administration’s immigration policies and has highlighted Florida’s role in the illegal transportation of migrants to states ruled by the Democratic Party.
He has used his influence in the state legislature to funnel millions of dollars into the migrant relocation program, making it one of his trademark political initiatives.
Last year, the state of Florida paid Vertol Systems $1.56 million to transport migrants from the state of Texas to the Massachusetts island of Martha’s Vineyard and to prepare for a second, never-used flight to the state of Delaware.
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Before the unusual charter flights, the Republican governors of Texas and Arizona brought hundreds of migrants on buses to New York, Chicago, and Washington, D.C.
DeSantis approved a Republican-backed budget last year that set aside $12 million to remove persons in the nation illegally from Florida to other regions, far before the flight from Texas to Martha’s Vineyard.
DeSantis ordered Republican legislators to establish a program in his office dedicated to migrant relocations after concerns were raised about the legality of the Martha’s Vineyard fight due to its apparent violation of budgetary language. The war began in Texas, not Florida.
The DeSantis government has chosen three companies to assist with migrant travel.
If it turns out that Florida booked the travel, it will only fuel the fire in DeSantis’s dispute with Gavin Newsom, the Democratic governor of California. The two have presented opposing viewpoints, including immigration and ab0rtion.
In a statement, Newsom said he had spoken with the recently arrived migrants and that efforts were underway to ensure they are “treated with respect and dignity” during this process.
We are investigating whether those orchestrating the group’s trip misled anyone or violated laws. pic.twitter.com/eM0SriLbEB
— Office of the Governor of California (@CAgovernor) June 4, 2023
More bluntly, Sacramento Mayor Darrell Steinberg said, “Whoever is behind this must answer the following: Is there anything more cruel than using scared human beings to score cheap political points?”
Anthony Izaguirre, based in Tallahassee, Florida, for the Associated Press.
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For almost 4 years, Jason Martin has been a freelance writer for newspapers, journals, blogs, books, and online material. He covers the most recent news as well as many other topics.