Newsom Threatens DeSantis With ‘Kidnapping’ Charges as 2nd Jet Full of Migrants Arrives in California

California Gov. Gavin Newsom (Getty Images)
June 5, 2023

California governor Gavin Newsom (D.) suggested Florida governor Ron DeSantis (R.) should face kidnapping charges after DeSantis allegedly helped orchestrate a flight of migrants to the California capital from the border, hours before a second flight arrived with more migrants.

"@RonDeSantis you small, pathetic man," Newsom tweeted. "This isn't Martha's Vineyard. Kidnapping charges?"

The threat came after a first private jet arrived Saturday in Sacramento from New Mexico with 16 illegal migrants from Venezuela and Colombia onboard. A second flight arrived midday Monday, reportedly carrying 20 more migrants. It is not confirmed whether DeSantis is behind the flights, but the migrants reportedly were carrying Florida state government paperwork.

Newsom posted the text of a California law that details the potential charge Newsom could leverage. "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 ... is guilty of kidnapping," the law reads.

The migrants came from Texas near El Paso and were first sent to New Mexico before flying to California.

Newsom has advertised his state as a refuge for migrants. "Let me be clear, @realDonaldTrump: California is a sanctuary state," he tweeted in 2018. "We believe in the power of diversity. We have defied and resisted the xenophobic, hateful policies of your administration at every turn. We will do it again."

It would not be the first time DeSantis has sent migrants to Democratic "sanctuary" states. He famously sent migrants to Martha's Vineyard in Massachusetts, who were then turned away by the majority-liberal island.