A gaggle of Latin American migrants aboard a chartered non-public airplane landed at a small airport in Sacramento on Monday, the second such planeload in three days to reach in California’s capital metropolis from an airfield in New Mexico.
The group of about 20 migrants, who mentioned they have been primarily from Venezuela, landed simply earlier than 10:30 a.m. Pacific time and have been ushered right into a room at Sacramento Govt Airport to satisfy with officers from California’s Division of Justice. One of many migrants, David Mata, 28, mentioned he had arrived in the US from Venezuela roughly two weeks in the past in search of work. Mr. Mata mentioned he didn’t know who had orchestrated his journey to Sacramento, however mentioned that whoever did had paid for it in its entirety.
One other group of migrants arrived on Friday at a unique Sacramento airport aboard the identical non-public airplane. The authorities in California mentioned these migrants carried papers indicating that their journey had been “administered by the Florida Division of Emergency Administration” and its contractor, Vertol Programs Firm, which relies in Florida. It was not instantly clear whether or not the group that arrived on Monday carried comparable papers, however a California Division of Justice official mentioned it appeared that the identical firm — and the state of Florida — was concerned.
Gov. Gavin Newsom of California and the state’s lawyer basic, Rob Bonta, who’re each Democrats, have mentioned they believed Gov. Ron DeSantis of Florida, a Republican operating for president, had organized for the flight on Friday. To this point, Mr. DeSantis has not acknowledged that Florida was accountable, though the main points of the incident — together with the obvious involvement of Vertol, a personal air providers and protection contractor — mirror an operation final fall, when the governor despatched two planeloads of migrants from San Antonio to the island of Martha’s Winery in Massachusetts.
The migrants who have been flown to California on Friday started their journey in El Paso and have been taken from there to a municipal airport in New Mexico. After they arrived in Sacramento, they have been dropped off outdoors a church constructing.
Over the weekend, Mr. Newsom and different California officers accused Vertol of transporting the group underneath a false promise of jobs if the migrants agreed to be taken to California. Mr. Bonta mentioned that California state investigators would pursue the opportunity of felony or civil fees in opposition to whoever was concerned in flying the migrants to Sacramento, calling the motion “morally bankrupt.”
The migrants who arrived on Monday, who mentioned their journey, too, had begun in El Paso, have been flown from the identical airport in New Mexico, in line with the flight monitoring web site FlightAware.
Wilkendri Rodrigruez, 23, mentioned two males and two ladies approached him in El Paso and requested if he wished to go to California. Mr. Rodriguez, who had survived a harmful journey via the jungle to succeed in Texas from Venezuela, mentioned he eagerly agreed.
“It’s one thing you don’t want on others, as a result of it’s an excessive amount of, lots of demise,” Mr. Rodriguez mentioned of his trek to the US, throughout which he mentioned he was extorted by felony gangs.
He mentioned the individuals who supplied him the flight to California instructed him they may assist him discover work.
“I don’t know what’s their motivation to arrange these journeys,” he mentioned in Spanish. “I don’t know if it’s political, or a part of the federal government. They didn’t inform us something. On the resort, they might inform us, if you wish to go, go, or keep. No one is being obligated. And right here we’re.”
Representatives of Mr. DeSantis haven’t responded to requests for remark. Neither has the Florida Division of Emergency Administration, which is operating the state’s taxpayer-funded program to move migrants from the southern border to different areas of the US. Mr. DeSantis appeared on a Fox Information radio program Monday morning, however didn’t talk about the migrants who had mysteriously appeared in Sacramento.
If Mr. DeSantis is certainly accountable for the newest flights, they provide a style of how he could use the ability of his workplace to assist his presidential marketing campaign. He’s scheduled to carry a fund-raiser in Sacramento on June 19, a part of a swing via California to satisfy rich donors. On the marketing campaign path, he ceaselessly invokes the migrant flights he despatched to “stunning” Martha’s Winery, often to cheers from his audiences, and claims that underneath President Biden, the nation’s southern border has “collapsed.”
“Now we have opposed unlawful immigration by banning sanctuary cities, cracking down on human smuggling, deploying troops to assist on the southern border, and even sending unlawful aliens to Martha’s Winery,” Mr. DeSantis mentioned final week at a rally outdoors Des Moines.
On Monday, Mr. Newsom, who has clashed repeatedly with Mr. DeSantis, responded to his Florida counterpart on Twitter, suggesting that the flights may end in “kidnapping fees.”
“This isn’t Martha’s Winery,” Mr. Newsom wrote.
Ivan Pierre Aguirre contributed reporting from El Paso.