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California investigating whether Mr. DeSantis was involved in asylum-seeker plane trip from Texas to Sacramento

Authorities were investigating on Tuesday: floridaGovernor Ron DeSantis was behind a plane carrying asylum seekers. texas They were flown across the border (apparently without their knowledge) to the California capital as religious groups scrambled to secure housing and food for them.

About 20 people between the ages of 21 and 30 flew on private jets, sacramento California Attorney General Rob Bonta said on Monday: It was the second such flight in four days.

Sacramento Mayor Darrell Steinberg and faith groups that have helped immigrants scheduled a press conference Tuesday morning.

Meanwhile, the Governor of California Gavin Newsom He lashed out at DeSantis as a “little pathetic man” and suggested he could be pursued by the state on kidnapping charges.

Mr. DeSantis and other Florida officials remained tight-lipped last year when they lured 49 Venezuelan immigrants to the luxury Martha’s Vineyard enclave in Massachusetts and onto private jets from their San Antonio shelters. rice field.

DeSantis, who is targeting the Republican presidential nomination, has vehemently criticized federal immigration policies under President Joe Biden, and Florida has been one of the first to transfer immigrants to Democratic-led states. The role has been widely advertised.

He has made the immigration resettlement program one of his signature political priorities, channeling millions of dollars into the program using state legislative procedures and working with multiple contractors to carry out the flights. ing. Vertle Systems, which was funded by the state of Florida to transport immigrants to Martha’s Vineyard, appeared to be behind flights to Sacramento Monday and last Friday, Bonta said, citing immigrants. They added they were carrying “official documents from the state of Florida.” It refers to the company. The company did not respond to an email seeking comment.

More than 30 migrants arrived in Sacramento on flights last Friday and Monday. Most of them are from Colombia and Venezuela. Officials said California was not their destination, to the surprise of shelters and aid workers.

Friday’s party was dropped off at the parish headquarters of the Roman Catholic Church in Sacramento. According to Eddie Carmona, campaign director for PICO California, a faith-based organization that helps immigrants in Sacramento, U.S. immigration officials have already processed immigration in Texas and given a court date for an asylum case, and no one has been allowed to go to court. He said he had no plans to go to California.

Asylum seekers can change the location of their court appearances, but many are reluctant to try, preferring to stick to definite dates, at least for their first court appearance. They see it as a guarantee, even if it’s a huge inconvenience.

Republican governors of Texas and Arizona have so far sent thousands of immigrants by bus to New York, Chicago and Washington, D.C., but DeSantis’ rare charter flight marks an escalation of tactics. The two groups sent to Sacramento did not go through Florida. Instead, they were contacted in El Paso by people with Florida-related documents, sent to New Mexico, and then chartered to the California capital, California officials and supporters said.

Bonta, who met with some of the migrants who arrived on Friday, said he was approached by two women who spoke broken Spanish and were offered jobs. The women traveled overland from El Paso to Deming, New Mexico, from where two men accompanied them on a flight to Sacramento. Bonta said the same men were on Monday’s flight.

“When we see other state and Florida leaders and governments, Governor Ron DeSantis, cruel, inhumane, morally bankrupt, despicable, small, harmful and harmful to vulnerable asylum seekers. It makes your blood boil,” Bonta said. interview on Monday.

Some of the immigrants who arrived on Friday met Bonta on their nearly three-month journey to the United States and banded together to keep each other safe while sleeping on the streets in several countries. He said he had decided.

After the migrants arrived in California on Monday, the Texas sheriff’s office announced it had recommended criminal charges over two flights to Martha’s Vineyard last year.

Bexar County Sheriff’s Office spokesman Johnny Garcia said he had not named a suspect at this time. The sheriff’s office said it was unclear whether the local district attorney would pursue charges such as misdemeanors and the felony of wrongful detention.

The office of New Mexico Democratic Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham has not provided details as to why the migrants were taken from Texas to New Mexico and then flown to California.

“Governor. Gov. Lujan Grisham reiterated the urgent need for comprehensive and thoughtful federal immigration reform rooted in a humanitarian response with communities in the border areas in mind,” said Governor Spokesperson Caroline Grisham. Sweeney said Monday.

Last year, Mr. DeSantis directed Republican lawmakers in Florida to create a program specifically for immigrant migration within his office. It specified that states could transport immigrants from anywhere in the country. The law was enacted to avoid questions about the legality of transporting people on planes originating from Texas.

Florida’s alleged involvement in both groups’ arrival in Sacramento intensifies a political feud between DeSantis and Newsom, who have offered conflicting visions on immigration, abortion and a host of other issues. is certain. ___

Rodriguez reported from San Francisco. Contributed by Associated Press reporter Anthony Izaguirre of Tallahassee, Florida; Paul J. Weber of Austin, Texas; Susan Montoya Bryan of Albuquerque, New Mexico; and Elliot Spagat of San Diego.


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