Investigation into Florida Governor Ron DeSantis’s Transportation of Migrants to California: Possible Criminal Charges Looming

The transportation of migrants to California by Florida Governor Ron DeSantis has led to an ongoing investigation by the California Department of Justice.[0] Attorney General Rob Bonta has issued public records requests to the Office of Florida Governor Ron DeSantis and the Florida Division of Emergency Management to unearth the circumstances under which 36 migrants were transported to California.[1] Bonta has also requested videos, documents, communications between officials, and more to inform their investigation. The migrants had entered Texas via the southern border, and private planes transported them to Sacramento, California, with documentation purporting to be from the government of the State of Florida and its “Voluntary Migrant Transport Program.”[2] The investigation seeks to determine whether potential criminal and civil action is warranted.[2]

Governor Gavin Newsom of California held a meeting with Sheriff Javier Salazar from Bexar County, Texas to discuss potential charges against Governor Ron DeSantis of Florida. The purpose of the meeting was to exchange information and insights. Newsom appeared to be referring to Salazar, who last week officially filed a criminal case with the Bexar County District Attorney’s Office regarding the 49 migrants taken by Florida from San Antonio and flown to Martha’s Vineyard last September. The Bexar County Sheriff’s Office filed a criminal case with the Bexar County District Attorney’s Office last week in connection with the transportation of 49 migrants from San Antonio to Martha’s Vineyard in September 2022 by Florida Governor Ron DeSantis’ administration.

During a major County Sheriff’s Conference, Bexar County Sheriff Javier Salazar met with California Governor Gavin Newsom to discuss their respective cases regarding the migrant flights. Among the topics discussed was the status and the nature of the criminal investigation.[3] The Sheriff’s office filed charges in early June with a statement saying: “The charge filed is Unlawful Restraint and several accounts were filed, both misdemeanor and felony.”[4] It’s unclear if they are targeting DeSantis himself or someone in his office, and no suspect has been named so far.[4]

Newsom has been vocal about his disgust with DeSantis, saying he met with a sheriff from Texas who was “disgusted” by DeSantis’s actions, and that there are grounds to investigate and potentially initiate some form of accountability.[5] While it is unknown whether charges will be filed against DeSantis himself, the ongoing investigation highlights the controversy surrounding the transportation of migrants and the ethical implications of such actions.

0. “The inhumanity of DeSantis’ migrant flights | Editorial” South Florida Sun Sentinel, 12 Jun. 2023,

1. “Attorney General Bonta Requests More Info & Materials From Florida Over Migrant Flights” California Globe, 16 Jun. 2023,

2. “California Attorney General Bonta ‘Demands’ Records – Says Florida Authorities Owe Us Answers Over Deceptive and …” Sierra Sun Times, 14 Jun. 2023,

3. “Bexar County Sheriff and California Governor discuss Texas migrant flight controversy” WOAI, 15 Jun. 2023,

4. “Newsom and Texas sheriff ‘compare notes’ on possible DeSantis prosecution” FOX 11 Los Angeles, 14 Jun. 2023,

5. “Newsom Met With Texas Sheriff ‘Who Wants to Press Charges’ Against DeSantis to ‘Compare Notes’ Regarding Migrant Flights Investigations” Mediaite, 14 Jun. 2023,

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