In a startling turn of events, a second aircraft carrying approximately 20 migrants made an unexpected landing in Sacramento, California, on Monday. The individuals involved were found to be in possession of documents linking them to the state of Florida, as revealed by the California attorney general’s office.
Remarkably, special agents from the California Department of Justice were present at the airport alongside the migrants, as confirmed by representatives from the office who shared this information exclusively with Insider.
This revelation follows the recent arrival of 16 migrants hailing from Venezuela and Colombia, who arrived on a plane last Friday and were subsequently dropped off at a Catholic church. These migrants, too, originated from El Paso, Texas, and carried paperwork associated with Florida’s emergency management division, as well as the Vertol Systems Company, a contracted entity responsible for their travel arrangements.
Surprisingly, Republican Governor Ron DeSantis of Florida, a prominent figure in the 2024 presidential race, has yet to address this matter publicly. Despite Insider’s attempts to obtain a response from his office, their series of questions were left unanswered. Interestingly, back in September, Governor DeSantis openly acknowledged orchestrating the transportation of 49 migrants from San Antonio, Texas, to the affluent Martha’s Vineyard in Massachusetts.
Governor DeSantis, known for his tendency to deploy unexpected and attention-grabbing strategies, often boasts about the Martha’s Vineyard endeavor during his speeches, especially on the campaign trail leading up to the 2024 elections. These strategic maneuvers have garnered widespread criticism, generated extensive media coverage, and stirred up strong emotions among liberals, all while endearing himself to conservative audiences. Demonstrating the effectiveness of this playbook, DeSantis emerged victorious in the 2022 campaign, defeating his Democratic opponent, former Representative Charlie Crist, by an impressive margin of nearly 20 points.
Governor Gavin Newsom of California took to Twitter, insinuating that the investigators were exploring potential kidnapping charges under the state’s laws and referred to DeSantis as a “small, pathetic man.” Newsom, alongside California Attorney General Rob Bonta, has already expressed their belief that DeSantis is responsible for these flights. During a recent interview with CNN, Bonta accused DeSantis of displaying “pettiness, lack of substance,” as well as engaging in “xenophobia,” “discrimination, and racism.”
When questioned about the situation prior to the revelation of the second flight, White House press secretary Karine Jean-Pierre denounced the practice of relocating migrants as “dangerous and unacceptable” during a press conference, emphasizing the immense strain it places on state and local communities.
Although the Florida Emergency Division representative confirmed that no statement had been released regarding the flights, they did not provide a response to the extensive list of inquiries from Insider.
Significantly, a sheriff in Texas recommended pursuing charges related to the Martha’s Vineyard flights, and it now falls upon the county district attorney to review these recommendations and determine whether prosecution is warranted.
If DeSantis is indeed behind this latest series of flights, it would signify a direct challenge to Governor Newsom, who has consistently criticized DeSantis’ policies. As the capital of California, Sacramento serves as the focal point of Newsom’s government. Newsom, a rising star within the Democratic Party and a potential future presidential contender, has expressed his full support for President Joe Biden’s bid for re-election.
In an exclusive interview with Insider back in April, Governor Newsom referred to DeSantis’ actions, particularly on matters related to immigration, as “performative” and “very destructive.”
Interestingly, DeSantis is scheduled to visit Sacramento on June 19 for a fundraising event, as reported by the Sacramento Bee. The governor has accused jurisdictions that claim to support illegal immigration of exhibiting hypocrisy, contending that blue states signal their virtue on the issue of undocumented migration while border states shoulder the majority of the burden, often feeling overwhelmed.
In recent weeks, DeSantis has implemented stricter regulations concerning undocumented workers in Florida and allocated $12 million toward programs aimed at relocating migrants. He frames these policies as direct responses to President Biden’s immigration strategies, asserting that the president has turned a “blind eye” to the issue at hand.
Furthermore, DeSantis has pledged that, if elected president, he would resume construction of a border wall between the United States and Mexico. Additionally, he aims to reinstate the “remain in Mexico” policy, which mandates that migrants await the processing of their asylum cases on the Mexican side of the border.
As the leading contender for the 2024 presidential nomination, DeSantis follows in the footsteps of former President Donald Trump, whose staunchly anti-immigration rhetoric and actions galvanized his support base but also led to numerous legal battles and public outcry.