Sixteen migrants found themselves at an unexpected destination last week, the Roman Catholic Diocese of Sacramento. This group of Venezuelan and Colombian migrants, who entered the United States at El Paso, were transferred from Texas, through New Mexico, to California via a private charter jet. The question of who is responsible remains unanswered.
U.S. immigration officials initially processed the migrants and gave court dates for their asylum cases. Then, according to Eddie Carmona, campaign director for PICO California, they were approached by “individuals representing a private contractor” who promised to help them reach their final destination.
'Immoral': California officials upset after 16 migrants flown on private jet, dropped off at Sacramento diocese https://t.co/0Fs7rozqVJ
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But the migrants were deceived, Carmona insisted, stating, “They were lied to and intentionally deceived.” The migrants didn’t realize they had been flown to Sacramento. They were left at the Sacramento Diocese with nothing but a backpack each.
The story has struck a chord with California’s leaders, as no politician or group has claimed responsibility for the transportation. Democratic Gov. Gavin Newsom stated, “We are working closely with the Mayor’s office, along with local and nonprofit partners 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.”
Newsom also expressed concerns over the legality of the journey: “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.”
California’s Attorney General Rob Bonta has also taken an interest in the case, hinting at the possibility of “state-sanctioned kidnapping” while voicing his condemnation for those who “refuse to recognize humanity.”
But this isn’t the first time such an incident has occurred. Last year, eight Venezuelan migrants were flown from Texas to Sacramento under similar circumstances. The question of who paid for that transportation also remains unanswered.
California’s leaders are voicing their concern and disgust over these incidents. They are quick to condemn and ready to launch investigations. But one can’t help but ask: where is the accountability? And where is the outcry for a thorough investigation and concrete action on such matters from other sections of the political spectrum?
Recently, conservative leaders in Texas and Florida have highlighted the Biden administration’s apparent failures in handling border policies. Migrants have been transported to Democratic strongholds to bring attention to the crisis.
Gov. Newsom, Attorney General Bonta, and Mayor Steinberg express their desire to treat these migrants with “respect and dignity,” which aligns with American values. However, amid the rhetoric, the need for a comprehensive solution to the broader immigration challenge remains clear.
In the meantime, the transported migrants, like untold thousands of others, await their asylum hearings.