'Moral travesty': Gavin Newsom to probe whether migrants flown to Sacramento were kidnapped

'Moral travesty': Gavin Newsom to probe whether migrants flown to Sacramento were kidnapped

A group of 16 migrants were dropped off at the Catholic Diocese of Sacramento Friday, leaving California Democratic Governor Gavin Newsom and immigration rights advocates with many questions, The Sacramento Bee reports.

Per The Sacramento Bee, the migrants from Venezuela and Colombia "were taken from El Paso, Texas, to New Mexico, and then flown by private chartered jet to Sacramento where they were left on the doorstep of the Roman Catholic Diocese of Sacramento."

Sacramento ACT — a group of "religious congregations," according to The Sacramento Bee said, "The migrants, upon arriving in Sacramento, had no idea where they were and 'only a backpack's worth of belongings,'" adding, "The group said that the migrants all have pending court appearances, and that by transporting them to California under false pretenses, there will be a disruption in their legal due process."

READ MORE: 'This bill is indefensible': DeSantis’ measure to fly 'migrants from state to state' approved

Last year, according to CBS News, Texas GOP Governor Greg Abbott "started busing migrants released from federal immigration custody in his state to D.C., saying he was 'going to take the border' to the Biden administration," and months later, Florida GOP Governor Ron DeSantis "took credit for the transportation of several dozen migrants to Martha's Vineyard."

CBS also notes:

The Biden administration, Democrats and advocates have called the transportation tactic a dehumanizing political stunt, accusing Republican-led states of using desperate asylum-seekers as props. Republican governors in Texas, Florida and Arizona have argued their efforts force Democratic cities to share the burden of accommodating migrants, which they say has fallen mostly on communities in their states.

Regarding the migrants flown to Sacramento, Congregation B’nai Israel's Rabbi Mona Alfi deems the incident "a moral travesty," noting, "these are human beings, no different than you or me, who simply want to take care of their families and live a peaceful life, and they deserve to be treated better."

Sacramento ACT President Rev. Efrem Smith added, " What has occurred recently with the deceiving drop off of our undocumented brothers and sisters into the Sacramento area grieves my heart. This political polarizing act is heartbreaking and yet I rejoice that I am part of a movement that brings the love of God and goodwill upon the injustices and political wickedness that impacts our vulnerable brothers and sisters."

READ MORE: Treasury Department IG’s office is investigating Ron DeSantis’ migrant flights to Massachusetts

Newsom emphasized, "My administration is also working with the California Department of Justice to investigate the circumstances around who paid for the group's travel and whether the individuals orchestrating this trip misled anyone with false promises or have violated any criminal laws, including kidnapping."

According to The Sacramento Bee, the governor also said "he and Attorney General Rob Bonta met with the migrants, and that he is working with Sacramento Mayor Darrell Steinberg's office as well as area nonprofits 'to ensure the people who have arrived are treated with respect and dignity, and get to their intended destination as they pursue their immigration cases.'"

READ MORE: New report refutes Greg Abbott’s claim that his office was unaware of DeSantis’ migrant stunt

The Sacramento Bee's full report is available at this link (subscription required). CBS News' report is here.

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