The state of Florida appears to have made arrangements for a group of South American migrants to be dumped off outside a Sacramento church, according to California’s attorney general.
In a statement released late Saturday, Bonta stated, “While this is still under investigation, we can confirm that these individuals had documentation claiming to be from the State of Florida.”
According to the documents, the migrants were moved as part of a plan managed by the Florida Division of Emergency Management and executed by contractor Vertol Systems Co., according to Tara Gallegos, a representative for Bonta.
The same contractor was paid $1.56 million by Florida last year to transport migrants from Texas to Martha’s Vineyard, Massachusetts, as well as for a potential further flight—which never happened—to Delaware.
Sixteen migrants from Colombia and Venezuela arrived in Sacramento on Friday. Through Texas, they entered the country.
They were brought to New Mexico; then a charter plane took them to California’s state capital, where they were left in front of the Roman Catholic Diocese of Sacramento, according to California officials.
According to Eddie Carmona of PICO California, a faith-based organization assisting the migrants, they were approached outside a migrant shelter in El Paso, Texas, by individuals who offered them jobs and travel assistance.
He claimed they landed in Sacramento with little belongings and were unaware that they were going there.
Emails seeking comment sent on Sunday were not immediately answered by Vertol Systems Co. or the Florida Division of Emergency Management.
According to Bonta, he determines whether there were civil or criminal offenses.
State-sanctioned kidnapping is immoral and nasty, said Bonta in a statement.
“While we continue to gather evidence, I want to say this very clearly: State-sanctioned kidnapping is not a public policy choice,” he added.