Newsom asks DOJ to explore kidnapping charges against GOP governors for busing migrants

Newsom and DeSantis have long traded barbs over one another's policies.

Updated: September 15, 2022 - 5:30pm

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California Democratic Gov. Gavin Newsom has asked the Department of Justice to examine if Republican governors sending migrants to other states constitutes kidnapping.

In a letter to Attorney General Merrick Garland, Newsom highlighted the recent transport of migrants to upper crust getaway island Martha's Vineyard, which Florida Republican Gov. Ron DeSantis organized. The California governor noted claims from migrants that recruiters for the trip made false claims about its final destination and suggested travelers would receive preferential treatment in their pursuit of employment authorization.

"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," Newsom wrote. "I urge US DOJ to investigate whether the alleged fraudulent inducement would support charges of kidnapping under relevant state laws."

DeSantis sent the migrants to the island on Wednesday, prompting Massachusetts Democratic Sen. Elizabeth Warren to decry his "new low" and accuse the governor of treating the migrants as pawns.

Newsom and DeSantis have long traded barbs over one another's policies. The California governor previously ran ads in Florida criticizing his Republican rival.

DeSantis is not the only Republican to send migrants to left-wing strongholds. Texas GOP Gov. Greg Abbott has already sent migrants to Chicago, Washington, D.C. and New York City in a bid to call attention to the Biden administration's lax enforcement of national immigration laws.