California Gov. Gavin Newsom (D) is petitioning the Justice Department to consider whether moving migrants to other states violates federal laws such as kidnapping, Fox News reports.
In a letter addressed to Attorney General Merrick Garland, Newsom pondered whether Texas Gov. Greg Abbott (R) and Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis (R) illegally relocated migrants to sanctuary cities like New York City, Washington, D.C., and Chicago, as well as Martha's Vineyard, in recent months.
Some of the people who were recently moved to Martha's Vineyard "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." Newsom wrote. "I urge U.S. DOJ to investigate whether the alleged fraudulent inducement would support charges of kidnapping under relevant state laws."
DeSantis sent migrants to Massachusetts on Wednesday after promising to relocate them to a "sanctuary destination," sparking a wave of criticism for what some viewed as a "heartless" political ploy. His communication director Taryn Fenske told Fox News that designated sanctuary states "will better facilitate the care of these individuals who they have invited into our country by incentivizing illegal immigration."
DeSantis's move followed Abbott's decision to relocate migrants who had crossed the southern border of Texas. Abbott's administration has spent up to $15 million on buses for migrants to travel to Chicago and Washington, D.C.