California law enforcement intercepted a second plane in Sacramento carrying relocated migrants, as DeSantis remains mum about his involvement

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  • A second flight carrying roughly 20 migrants landed in Sacramento, California, on Monday.

  • Another plane of migrants arrived in the Golden State over the weekend.

  • Gov. Gavin Newsom of California accused Ron DeSantis' administration of orchestrating the flights.

A second plane carrying roughly 20 migrants landed in Sacramento, California, on Monday, and the people involved were carrying paperwork that linked them to Florida, the California attorney general's office said.

Special agents from the California Department of Justice were on the ground with the migrants at the airport, representatives from the office told Insider.

Monday's revelation comes after 16 migrants from Venezuela and Colombia arrived by plane on Friday and were dropped off at a Catholic church. The migrants were picked up in El Paso, Texas, and carried paperwork tied to Florida's emergency-management division and the contractor Vertol Systems Company, which administered the travel.

Republican Gov. Ron DeSantis of Florida, who is also a 2024 presidential candidate, has yet to speak publicly about the matter. His office didn't reply to a series of questions from Insider, but the governor acknowledged in September that his administration orchestrated another plane carrying 49 migrants from San Antonio, Texas, to Martha's Vineyard, Massachusetts.

DeSantis often boasts about the Martha's Vineyard stunt in speeches, including on the 2024 presidential campaign trail.

It's just one of the surprise announcements DeSantis frequently rolled out during his first term. These announcements create a significant backlash, gin up publicity, land national headlines, and cause liberals to seethe — while endearing him to conservatives. He used the playbook during the 2022 campaign, where he bested his Democratic challenger, former Rep. Charlie Crist, by almost 20 points.

Gov. Gavin Newsom of California said on Twitter that investigators were considering kidnapping charges under the state's laws and called DeSantis a "small, pathetic man."

He and California Attorney General Rob Bonta have already accused DeSantis of orchestrating the flights. Speaking to CNN on Sunday, Bonta said that DeSantis was demonstrating "pettiness, lack of substance," as well as "xenophobia," "discrimination, and racism."

Asked to weigh in on Monday, before news of the second flight was made public, the White House press secretary, Karine Jean-Pierre, called the practice of relocating migrants "dangerous and unacceptable."

"You're putting a lot of pressure on these state and local areas," she said in a press conference.

A Florida emergency-division representative told Insider that the office hadn't released a statement about the flights but didn't respond to a list of further questions.

On Monday, a Texas sheriff said charges should be brought in connection to the Martha's Vineyard flights. The county district attorney is expected to consider the recommendations and decide whether to prosecute the case.

If DeSantis is behind the latest round of flights, it would mean he is taking direct aim at Newsom, who has criticized DeSantis' policies and whose government is centered in Sacramento, the state's capital. Newsom is considered a rising star in the Democratic Party, perhaps even a presidential contender someday, but has said he fully supported President Joe Biden's reelection bid.

In an interview with Insider in April, Newsom said that DeSantis' actions on numerous matters, including immigration, were "performative" and "very destructive."

DeSantis is scheduled to go to Sacramento for a fundraiser on June 19, according to The Sacramento Bee. The governor has accused localities who said they supported illegal immigration of being hypocrites. He said that blue states were virtue signaling about undocumented migration while border states were overwhelmed at the vast amount of aid they were taking on.

In recent weeks, DeSantis expanded restrictions on undocumented workers in Florida and allocated $12 million toward migrant-relocation programs. DeSantis framed the policies as a direct response to Biden's immigration policies, saying that the president turned a "blind eye" to the issue.

DeSantis has said that if elected president, he would resume building a border wall between the US and Mexico and reinstitute the "remain in Mexico" policy, which requires migrants to wait across the border until their asylum cases can be heard.

DeSantis is the top 2024 nomination rival to former President Donald Trump, whose hard-line, anti-immigration rhetoric and actions whipped up his base and led to numerous lawsuits and public backlash.

Read the original article on Business Insider