TAMPA, Fla. (WFLA) — California Gov. Gavin Newsom threw his latest jab at Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis Monday, calling him a “small, pathetic man” in response to accusations that the Florida government played a role in sending more than a dozen migrants to the California capital without advance notice.
In a tweet, Newsom said the Democrat-led state “isn’t Martha’s Vineyard,” referring to two sets of migrant flights previously organized and paid for under the DeSantis administration.
In those flights, about 49 mostly-Venezuelan migrants were flown to the Massachusetts island where former President Barack Obama owns a mansion. Local officials weren’t told in advance that the migrants were coming.
Since Friday, more than 30 migrants on two separate flights were dropped off in Sacramento — charters that California’s attorney general Rob Bonta suspects come from Florida.
Bonta said the individuals had documents issued by the State of Florida. A fact that’s been difficult to verify as both the governor’s office and Florida’s Department of Emergency Management have yet to confirm or deny any involvement.
Newsom took his tweet one step further questioning whether kidnapping charges would be appropriate under California law.
“Every person who, being out of this state, abducts or takes by force or fraud any person contrary to the law of the place where that act is committed, and brings, sends, or conveys that person within the limits of this state, and is afterward found within the limits thereof, is guilty of kidnapping,” the law states.
“While we continue to collect evidence, I want to say this very clearly: State-sanctioned kidnapping is not a public policy choice, it is immoral and disgusting,” Bonta said.
Advocates agree, calling the latest flights an insult to all immigrants.
“This is a slap in the face, this is an attack on all of us… Governor DeSantis has spent thousands of dollars, actually millions of dollars attacking immigrants,” Felipe Sousa Lazaballet, Executive Director of Hope Community Center said.
The Florida Office of the Governor did not respond to WFLA’s request for comment.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.