The Mexican government late Thursday condemned Florida’s migrant relocation program, adding to the jurisdictions potentially threatening legal action against the Sunshine State’s GOP Gov. Ron DeSantis.
“The Government of Mexico emphatically condemns the practice of transporting migrant persons from states bordering Mexico toward other parts of the United States with electoral and political ends,” reads a statement from the Mexican foreign ministry.
The statement specified its censure was targeted at migrant relocations to Massachusetts — Florida kicked off its relocation program transporting 49 Venezuelans from Texas to Martha’s Vineyard — New York, and Sacramento, Calif.
Mexico had mostly remained quiet about the practice that has set off a feud between DeSantis and California Gov. Gavin Newsom (D), but the Mexican Consulate General in Sacramento revealed that one of the migrants shuttled to Sacramento on a Florida-sponsored migrant flight is a Mexican citizen from the southern state of Chiapas.
“From the U.S. Border, you can see individuals on Mexican soil engaged in drug and human trafficking,” said Jeremy Redfern, the press secretary for DeSantis’s executive office.
“It would be great if the Mexican Government could focus on these problems rather than wasting its breath on some unfounded legal claim relating to illegal immigrants that voluntarily get a free ride to a sanctuary jurisdiction that purports to welcome them with open arms.“
A majority of migrants embroiled in the relocation program are Venezuelan nationals, many of whom are legally in the United States as asylum applicants.
Mexican nationals generally face a higher bar to claim asylum in the United States, because the country’s relative stability makes it harder to prove individualized persecution.
“The Secretariat of Foreign relations reiterates its commitment to guarantee the defense of Mexican persons who live abroad, independently of their migratory status,” reads a statement by the foreign ministry.
“Legal and diplomatic measures will be explored given this worrying practice.”
The legal threat adds Mexico to the growing number of jurisdictions pushing back on the practice through legal means, rather than just condemning its morality.
California Attorney General Rob Bonta announced earlier this week an investigation into the practice, and Bexar County (Texas) Sheriff Javier Salazar filed felony and misdemeanor unlawful restraint charges over the flights to Martha’s Vineyard.
Those two investigations center on whether the migrants were deceived to board the planes; many migrants have said they were promised jobs if they boarded the planes, and the Bexar County investigation also delved into allegations that migrants were told boarding would help their migratory status.
The investigations and ensuing Newsom-DeSantis feud followed more tepid reactions from East Coast and Midwest Democrats such as New York City Mayor Eric Adams, who criticized the practice but laid blame on the Biden administration for what he’s referred to as a “burden.”
Newsom, a Democrat rumored to have future presidential aspirations, has taken to Twitter and the airwaves to attack DeSantis, who trails only former President Trump in the 2024 GOP presidential race.
Newsom called DeSantis a “small, pathetic man” and threatened kidnapping charges as Bonta announced his investigation.
DeSantis, who had touted his migrant relocation program before the Texas and California investigations, has taken a more muted tone since.
At a roundtable in Arizona on Wednesday, DeSantis did not directly address the flights to Sacramento or Newsom’s barbs, but instead stuck to the GOP playbook of criticizing the Biden administration’s immigration policies.
Source : The Hill