California lawyer basic blames Florida for constitution flight that took migrants to Sacramento

SACRAMENTO, Calif. (AP) — One other airplane carrying migrants arrived in Sacramento on Monday, marking the second flight in current days that California officers allege was coordinated by Florida.

The flight carrying roughly 20 migrants that arrived Monday follows the arrival Friday of 16 migrants from Colombia and Venezuela, who had been taken from Texas to New Mexico earlier than they had been placed on a chartered airplane to California’s capital. It’s not clear what nations the newest group of arrivals are from, however their journey seems to have been organized by the identical firm, mentioned Tara Gallegos, a spokesperson for California Lawyer Normal Rob Bonta.

Bonta says he’s investigating whether or not any crimes had been dedicated.

The primary group of migrants was dropped off on the Roman Catholic Church diocese’s headquarters in Sacramento.

They carried paperwork that mentioned they had been transported by means of a program run by Florida’s Division of Emergency Administration and carried out by contractor Vertol Methods Co., Gallegos mentioned. She mentioned she couldn’t share the paperwork as a result of they’re a part of an energetic investigation.

Spokespeople for the Florida Division of Emergency Administration and Republican Gov. Ron DeSantis haven’t confirmed Florida’s involvement, and Vertol Methods didn’t reply to requests for remark.

“Whereas we proceed to gather proof, I wish to say this very clearly: State-sanctioned kidnapping isn’t a public coverage selection, it’s immoral and disgusting,” Bonta mentioned in an announcement.

The migrants entered the U.S. by means of Texas. Eddie Carmona, marketing campaign director at PICO California, a faith-based group that helps migrants, mentioned U.S. immigration officers had already processed the younger men and women and given them court docket dates for his or her asylum instances when “people representing a personal contractor” approached them outdoors a migrant middle in El Paso, Texas, and supplied to assist them get jobs and get them to their last locations.

“They had been lied to and deliberately deceived,” Carmona mentioned, including that the migrants had no thought the place they had been after being dropped off in Sacramento. He mentioned they’ve court docket dates in cities all through the nation, not solely in Texas, and that none of them meant to finish up in California.

Asylum seekers can change the placement of their court docket appearances, however many are reluctant to attempt to as an alternative choose sticking with a agency date, not less than for his or her preliminary appearances. They determine it’s a assure, even when horribly inconvenient.

DeSantis, who’s looking for the Republican nomination to run for president, has been a fierce critic of federal immigration coverage below President Joe Biden and has closely publicized Florida’s function in previous cases during which migrants had been transported to Democratic-led states.

He has made the migrant relocation program certainly one of his signature political priorities, utilizing the state legislative course of to direct thousands and thousands of {dollars} to it.

Florida paid Vertol Methods $1.56 million final yr to fly migrants from Texas to Martha’s Winery, Massachusetts, and for a potential second flight to Delaware that by no means passed off. The Republican governors of Texas and Arizona have beforehand despatched hundreds of migrants on buses to New York, Chicago and Washington, D.C., however the uncommon constitution flights are an escalation in techniques.

Earlier than the flight from Texas to Martha’s Winery final yr, DeSantis signed off on a Republican-backed finances that earmarked $12 million to relocate individuals within the nation illegally from Florida to different places.

When questions arose across the legality of the Martha’s Winery battle as a result of it originated in Texas, not Florida, in obvious violation of budgetary language, DeSantis had Republicans legislators create a program in his workplace devoted to migrant relocations and specify that the state can transport migrants from places wherever within the nation.

DeSantis’ administration has chosen three distributors to assist transport migrants.

The flight, if confirmed to have been organized by Florida, would intensify a protracted political feud between DeSantis and California’s Democratic governor, Gavin Newsom. The 2 have supplied conflicting visions on immigration, abortion and a bunch of different points.

Newsom mentioned in an announcement that he additionally met with the newly arrived migrants and that officers had been working to make sure that they’re “handled with respect and dignity” by means of this course of.

Sacramento Mayor Darrell Steinberg issued a extra forcefully worded assertion: “Whoever is behind this should reply the next: Is there something extra merciless than utilizing scared human beings to attain low-cost political factors?” ___

Related Press author Anthony Izaguirre in Tallahassee, Fla., contributed.


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