Skip to main content

Newsom, Bonta decry migrants sent to Sacramento by private jet

Attorney General Rob Bonta, second from left, and Gov. Gavin Newsom, center, shared outrage after 16 migrants were essentially abandoned at a Sacramento Catholic diocese's office. | Rich Pedroncelli/AP Photo

State and local officials shared outrage after learning of 16 migrants who were flown by private jet Friday to a Sacramento-area airport before being unceremoniously dumped outside a Roman Catholic diocese's office.

In statements posted to social media Saturday, California Gov. Gavin Newsom and Attorney General Rob Bonta called out the move's cruelty.

Newsom said in a tweet on Saturday night that he "met with over a dozen migrants transported from Texas to New Mexico before being flown by private jet to Sacramento. We are investigating whether those orchestrating the group’s trip misled anyone or violated laws."

For his part, Bonta said that "[w]hile this is still under investigation, we can confirm that these individuals were in possession of documentation purporting to be from the government of the State of Florida."

Bonta added that the state and the city's community would "welcome these individuals with open arms and provide them with the respect, compassion, and care they will need after such a harrowing experience."

Sacramento Mayor Darrell Steinberg joined in, saying in part that "Sacramento represents the best of American values. We always welcome 'the tired, the poor, and the huddled masses,' and we always will."

Faith-based group Sacramento ACT (Area Congregations Together) said Saturday that the migrants, who came from Venezuela and Colombia, were receiving care, with staffers working to coordinate collections on their behalf and praising community responses and offers of assistance. 

"We appreciate all of the support that has been offered," Sacramento ACT said. "The group is feeling very much loved, safe, and welcomed in Sacramento." The organization asked for financial contributions on the migrants' behalf as well as help with transport to necessary appointments.

Donors with questions may email Diana Patterson at or text 916-886-7378.