In his effort to make a political statement and draw attention to himself in his bid for re-election, Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis (R) decided he’d put some migrants on a plane and send them to Martha’s Vineyard.
CNN reports on the move by DeSantis:
It’s the latest in a series of moves by Republican governors to transport migrants to northern liberal enclaves to protest what they say are inadequate federal efforts on southern border security. Located off the coast of Massachusetts and long known as a posh summer destination for wealthy vacationers, Martha’s Vineyard provided an unusual and unexpected place for the migrants to be sent.
DeSantis defended his action:
But while the Florida governor may have gotten himself a day’s worth of free media coverage, he may also be guilty of kidnapping, according to California Gov. Gavin Newsom, who is urging the Justice Department to charge DeSantis with the crime.
In a letter he sent to the DOJ on Thursday, Newsom writes:
“Like millions of Americans, I have been horrified at the images of migrants being shipped on buses and planes across the country to be used as political props. Clearly, transporting families, including children, across state lines under false pretenses is morally reprehensible, but it may also be illegal.
“Several of the individuals who were transported to Martha’s Vineyard have alleged that a recruiter induced them to accept the offer of travel based on false representations that they would be transported to Boston and would receive expedited access to work authorization. The interstate travel at issue provides a basis for federal jurisdiction over this matter.”
And then Newsom cites the specific provision of federal law he believes DeSantis is in violation of:
“I strongly urge the U.S. Department of Justice (US DOJ) to open an investigation into possible criminal or civil violations of federal law based on this alleged fraudulent scheme. In particular, I urge US DOJ to investigate whether the alleged fraudulent inducement would support charges of kidnapping under relevant state laws, which could serve as a predicate offense for charges under the Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organization (RICO) provisions of the Organized Crime Control Act of 1970.”