The lives of 16 undocumented migrants coming into the U.S. were used as political poker chips last Friday (June 2) when they were flown on a chartered plane from El Paso, Texas, to Sacramento, California, and left outside a church. And Florida’s Governor Ron DeSantis is allegedly to blame.
According to CBS News, the migrants from Venezuela and Colombia, were flown from Texas to New Mexico and then boarded a chartered flight to California where they were left at the front of the Roman Catholic Diocese of Sacramento.
All 16 migrants entered the U.S. seeing asylum and were already processed by U.S. immigration and given court dates for their cases. According to Eddie Carmona, campaign director at the faith-based nonprofit organization PICO California, the migrants were approached outside a migrant center in El Paso by “individuals representing a private contractor” promising to help them find jobs and reach their final destination in the U.S. to wait for their court hearings. Carmona said the migrants were never told they would be left in Sacramento.
“They were lied to and intentionally deceived,” Carmona said.
California Attorney General Rob Bonta said his team was “investigating the circumstances by which these individuals were brought to California” and “evaluating the potential criminal or civil action against those who transported or arranged for the transport of these vulnerable immigrants.” He said the migrants had documents on them “purporting to be from the government of the state of Florida.”
Boneta added: “State-sanctioned kidnapping is not a public policy choice. It is immoral and disgusting.”
He also told CNN that he believes DeSantis is behind the migrants being flown to Sacramento. This comes after he sent 50 Venezuelan migrants flown to Martha’s Vineyard, Massachusetts, from San Antonio, Texas, in what the governor said was a move to let other states start “sharing in the burdens” of undocumented immigration.
“Gov. DeSantis has demonstrated his pettiness, his lack of substance, his xenophobia, and his willingness to treat human beings, people, as political pawns,” he said. “It’s wrong, and we are getting to the bottom of it.”
California Gov. Gavin Newsom is currently working with the California Department of Justice to find out who paid for the chartered flight and “whether the individuals orchestrating this trip misled anyone with false promises or have violated any criminal laws, including kidnapping.”