Newsom Met With Sheriff Who Wants To Prosecute DeSantis Over Migrant Flight

California Gov. Gavin Newsom and Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis (edited from Getty Images)
June 15, 2023

California Gov. Gavin Newsom (D.) said this week that he met with a Texas sheriff who wants to press charges against Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis (R.) for flying migrants away from Texas.

Newsom said in an interview released Wednesday that he "met with a sheriff that wants to press charges" against DeSantis for "coming into his jurisdiction under false pretense, deceiving kids, not just adults, by sending them on an airplane to an island, Martha's Vineyard."

The California governor has already threatened DeSantis with kidnapping charges over migrant flights to Sacramento, the Washington Free Beacon reported. DeSantis has scoffed at the threat, saying that Newsom's "hair gel is interfering with his brain function." He also blasted Newsom for hypocrisy.

California and other states "have bragged that they are sanctuary jurisdictions," DeSantis told supporters last Thursday. "And then what? When they have to deal with some of the fruits of that, they all of a sudden become very, very upset about that."

Legal scholar Jonathan Turley in a column for the Messenger wrote that Newsom's threat is "pathetic," saying the California governor "apparently failed to read" the state's kidnapping statute.

Newsom during the interview this week did not name the sheriff who recommended charges, only referring to him as "the sheriff from the county in Texas where the migrants were taken … the 49 that were taken to Martha's Vineyard."

The sheriff appears to be Bexar County Democrat Javier Salazar. In a statement to the Free Beacon, Salazar confirmed that he met with Newsom and discussed "our respective cases regarding the migrant flights."

While Salazar did not confirm whether he recommended pursuing charges against DeSantis, he said that he and Newsom talked about "the status and the nature of the criminal investigation" concerning the migrant flights.

Salazar last week filed criminal charges in the case of 49 migrants who last September boarded a flight from San Antonio to Martha's Vineyard, local media reported. DeSantis has taken credit for that flight.

DeSantis's and Newsom's offices did not respond to requests for comment.

Update 2:33 p.m.: The headline of this piece has been changed to reflect that the sheriff wants to prosecute over a flight to Martha's Vineyard, not California.