Former Federal Prosecutor Says DeSantis ‘Had No Legal Authority’ to Conduct Migrants Stunt: ‘Of Course Charges Could Be Leveled’


A Texas sheriff recommended charges on Monday over a stunt by Florida Governor Ron DeSantis in which migrants from the southern border were sent to affluent Martha’s Vineyard in Massachusetts.

The Bexar County Sheriff’s Office announced on Monday that it had “officially filed a completed criminal case with the Bexar County District Attorney’s Office regarding the incident from September 2022 where 49 migrants were flown to Martha’s Vineyard.”

“The charge filed is Unlawful Restraint and several accounts were filed, both misdemeanor and felony. At this time, the case is being reviewed by the DA’s office,” the office of Democratic Sheriff Javier Salazar revealed.

Immigration lawyer and former federal prosecutor Michael Wildes praised the decision during an appearance on NewsNation’s Dan Abrams Live, arguing that DeSantis “had no legal authority as a governor” to send the migrants to a different state.

“If you take people and you give them the impression that they’re going to get work, which is what was found, and they were just transporting them around the United States haphazardly, of course charges could be leveled,” he said. “Not only against the governor, but any of his emissaries.”

Former Manhattan assistant district attorney Mark Bederow, however, disagreed with the decision to file charges over DeSantis’ stunt.

Asked by NewsNation host and Mediaite founder Dan Abrams whether a Texas municipality can “file charges against the governor of Florida,” Bederow said, “Can they? Maybe. Should they? Probably not.”

“If anything, the federal government should be looking into this,” Bederow argued. “But this reeks of politics.”

DeSantis received heavy criticism from liberals and liberal-leaning Republicans, including former Trump senior adviser Jared Kushner after he helped fly 49 migrants to Martha’s Vineyard in September 2022.

“We are not a sanctuary state, and it’s better to be able to go to a sanctuary jurisdiction, and yes, we will help facilitate that transport for you to be able to go to greener pastures,” said DeSantis at the time. “Every community in America should be sharing in the burdens. It shouldn’t all fall on a handful of red states.”

Watch above via NewsNation.

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