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California is investigating after a private jet carrying migrants arrived in Sacramento

CNN — 

An investigation is underway after over a dozen migrants arrived in Sacramento, California, by private jet “with no prior arrangement or care in place,” Gov. Gavin Newsom and Attorney General Rob Bonta said Saturday. 

California officials on Saturday met with the group, who had documentation “purporting to be from the government of the State of Florida,” Bonta said. 

The immigrants were taken from Texas to New Mexico, then flown by private chartered jet to California, where they were “dumped on the doorstep of a local church without any advance warning,” Newsom said in a statement.

The state’s attorney general is investigating the incident and “evaluating potential criminal or civil action against those who transported or arranged for the transport of these vulnerable immigrants,” Bonta said in a statement.

The circumstances around who paid for the group’s travel, and whether the migrants were misled with false promises, will be investigated, according to the governor. 

CNN has reached out to state officials from Texas and Florida for comment. 

Migrants were reportedly promised ‘jobs’ and ‘free support’

A non-profit group of local religious congregations says there were 16 migrants from Venezuela and Colombia dropped off by the private jet at a Sacramento airport and taken by bus to the front office of the Diocese of Sacramento in California, where they were left.

Sacramento Area Congregations Together (ACT) says it is assisting the migrants, whose journey to Sacramento originated from El Paso, Texas. They were approached at a migrant center there by “individuals representing a private contractor stating that they would assist them in getting to a migrant center providing them with jobs and other free support.”

According to ACT, when the group was dropped off at the church offices they had no idea where they were and had only a backpack’s worth of belongings. 

The migrants were processed upon entry at the border and have pending court appearances all over the country, the non-profit said in a statement. 

“Being transported to California under false pretenses creates a disruption in their due legal process, as their appointments area locations throughout the country,” the non-profit said the statement.

“What has occurred recently with the deceiving drop off of our undocumented brothers and sisters into the Sacramento area grieves my heart,” Rev. Efrem Smith, president of Sacramento ACT, said in a statement. “This political polarizing act is heartbreaking and yet I rejoice that I am part of a movement that brings the love of God and goodwill upon the injustices and political wickedness that impacts our vulnerable brothers and sisters.”

Rabbi Mona Alfi of the Congregation B’nai Israel responded to the situation saying, “Taking people from one state to another under deception and political malice is a moral travesty. These are human beings, no different than you or me, who simply want to take care of their families and live a peaceful life, and they deserve to be treated better.”