Senator Ted Cruz says that transporting migrants is illegal, but commends GOP governors for it anyway

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Ted Cruz
Sen. Ted Cruz.Win McNamee/Getty Images
  • Ted Cruz praised GOP governors for transporting migrants to Democratic areas.

  • However, he admitted that the law was "clear" and a citizen could "easily be arrested" for moving migrants.

  • The legality of governors transporting migrants is murky, legal experts have said.

Senator Ted Cruz admitted that transporting migrants across the US is illegal but said that he still supports Republican governors doing it.

The Texas senator made the comments while speaking to Fox News' Sean Hannity about Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis and Texas Gov. Greg Abbott transporting migrants to Democratic areas such as Martha's Vineyard in Massachusetts and Washington DC.

"I commend Greg Abbott for sending the immigrants to these blue cities, I commend Ron DeSantis for doing so, and they need to do more," Cruz said.

"Tomorrow, Martha's Vineyard needs a hundred. The next day they need two hundred. The next day they need a thousand," he said.

Several Republican lawmakers have endorsed sending migrants to wealthy blue cities after blaming Democratic policies for a rise in migration.

Hannity went on to ask Cruz, who previously worked as a lawyer, about the legality of transporting migrants, posing a hypothetical scenario in which he personally drove a truck to the border and collected immigrants and transported them across the country.

Hannity said: "Would I or would I not likely be arrested for human trafficking, and would it be illegal to do that?"

"For you, a citizen, you could easily be arrested, although to be honest, Joe Biden's Justice Department wouldn't arrest you," Cruz said.

The Republican lawmaker went on to say the law was "clear" on the issue of human trafficking.

Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis
Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis speaks during a press conference held at the Cox Science Center & Aquarium on June 08, 2022 in West Palm Beach, Florida.Joe Raedle/Getty Images

Democratic politicians have condemned the movement of migrants, with Hillary Clinton describing it as "literally human trafficking" and Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez saying it amounted to "crimes against humanity on refugees."

The law is unclear on the legality of governors' transporting migrants, The Washington Post said, with legal experts saying not enough information is known to draw conclusions.

Experts said that it would be important to try and determine whether the migrants were misled or transported against their will.

Bridgette Carr, a professor at the University of Michigan Law School, said that governors might be protected in this situation, noting that US Border Patrol is allowed to transport migrants.

"The issue here is whether there is any provision which gives immunity to government officials to move people who entered the country illegally," Carr told the paper.

Video: 46 migrants found dead in tractor trailer in June 2022

"However, I would be curious if that immunity extends beyond federal officials since immigration is generally a power the feds regulate exclusively."

Sarah Sherman-Stokes, who teaches immigration law at Boston University School of Law, told the paper that it was not clear whether "DeSantis is acting in his capacity as an elected official or personally."

The Florida governor took credit for chartering planes to transport the undocumented migrants to the island in Massachusetts on Wednesday.

Florida paid an Oregon-based aviation company $615,000 using state funds to transport migrants on a plane from Texas to Martha's Vineyard, according to reports.

Read the original article on Business Insider