Legal scholar Jonathan Turley reminded America on Thursday that California Gov. Gavin Newsom's outrage over migrant flights to his state is little more than performative theater.
Newsom floated bringing kidnapping charges against Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis (R) after Florida sent two flights of migrants to Sacramento. The state condemned the flights as "state-sanctioned kidnapping." Florida, however, said the migrants traveled voluntarily and proved it with video of the migrants signing consent documents.
But according to Turley, if Newsom wants to be mad at anyone, he only has himself to blame.
"California officials insisted that the consent must have been fraudulent, which seems a strange argument that the state itself is not an inducement," Turley said.
"Pitching the opportunities and protections of California as a sanctuary state is found on the state's own websites," he pointed out. "Newsom has paid money for ads in both Texas and Florida, asking everyone living there to come 'join us in California.' Well they did.
"Given California's ample package of benefits for undocumented migrants — ranging from free college to driver's licenses, cash assistance and food stamps — it was no deception for Florida to highlight the Golden State’s status as a sanctuary state," Turley explained.
California became a so-called sanctuary state in 2017, and, just as Turley noted, Newsom launched advertisements in Florida last year boasting about how great California is while outright lying about the Sunshine State.
Moreover, the taxpayer-funded benefits that California gives immigrants living in their state illegally — subsidized health care, cash assistance, tuition benefits, driver's licenses, and soon, unemployment benefits — conceivably make California the perfect location for immigrants to relocate.
And despite the heavy-handed rhetoric, there is no evidence that DeSantis broke any laws by transporting migrants to California.
Indeed, nothing came of the Martha's Vineyard transportations last year, despite then-U.S. Attorney Rachael Rollins promising to investigate and seek criminal charges. Rollins herself resigned last month amid allegations of misconduct.
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