Newsom Attacks DeSantis After 2nd Plane of Illegal Immigrants Lands in California

Newsom Attacks DeSantis After 2nd Plane of Illegal Immigrants Lands in California
(L) California Gov. Gavin Newsom speaks at a VA facility in Los Angeles, Calif., on Nov. 10, 2021. (John Fredricks/The Epoch Times); (R) Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis in an undated file photo. (Courtesy of Ron DeSantis for Governor)
Katabella Roberts
6/6/2023
Updated:
6/8/2023
0:00

A second plane of illegal immigrants allegedly sent from Florida landed in Sacramento, California on June 5, officials said, marking the second such flight in recent days.

The latest flight was carrying around 20 immigrants, a spokesperson for California Attorney General Rob Bonta’s office told CBS News, adding that the immigrants were carrying documentation that suggested they were being transported by a contractor for a Florida government program.

“The contractor operating the flight that arrived today appears to be the same contractor who transported the migrants last week,” the spokesperson said. “As was the case with the migrants who arrived on Friday, the migrants who arrived today carried documents indicating that their transportation to California involved the state of Florida.”

In a separate statement to CNN, Bonta spokeswoman Tara Gallegos said special agents from the California Department of Justice were on the ground and had made contact with the immigrants.

The paperwork they held listed Florida-based aviation company Vertol Systems Co. as the contractor behind the flights, according to the publication.

On Twitter, Bonta said his office is investigating the circumstances by which the illegal immigrants were bought to Sacramento, and declared that “state-sanctioned kidnapping is immoral.”

Meanwhile, California Gov. Gavin Newsom criticized Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis, who is running for president, branding him a “small, pathetic man” and said investigators were considering kidnapping charges under the state’s laws.

“This isn’t Martha’s Vineyard. Kidnapping charges?” Newsom wrote alongside a link to a California penal code that states that every person from out of state who transports or abducts someone else to California “by force or fraud” could potentially be found guilty of kidnapping.

DeSantis has been an outspoken critic of President Joe Biden’s immigration policies amid the crisis at the southern border.

2nd Immigrant Plane Sent to California

In 2022, the Republican sent two planes transporting dozens of illegal immigrants from Texas to Martha’s Vineyard in Massachusetts—also via Vertol Systems—in response to the Biden administration’s policies.
He was later sued over the incident by Florida state Sen. Jason Pizzo, a Democrat, but a federal judge ultimately dismissed the case.
The arrival of the second plane of immigrants comes shortly after another chartered flight carrying 16 illegal immigrants originally from Venezuela and Colombia who entered the country through Texas, landed in California on June 2.

The immigrants were reportedly transported by bus from El Paso to New Mexico, where they boarded the flight to Sacramento, and were eventually dropped off outside a church, according to Newsom and immigration advocates.

Those illegal immigrants had already been processed by U.S. immigration officials and given court dates for their asylum cases when “individuals representing a private contractor” approached them outside an immigrant center in El Paso and offered to help them get jobs and transport them to their final destination, according to officials.

That flight was also operated by Vertol Systems, according to reports.

DeSantis last month signed the “toughest” illegal immigration bill in the country under which $12 million was allocated to continue the Unauthorized Alien Transport Program to relocate illegal immigrants to so-called sanctuary states. The bill also enhances penalties for human smuggling.

The Republican has not publicly commented on or claimed responsibility for the latest flights transporting illegal immigrants to Sacramento.

The Epoch Times has contacted a spokesperson for DeSantis and Vertol Systems Co. for comment.

Katabella Roberts is a news writer for The Epoch Times, focusing primarily on the United States, world, and business news.
Related Topics