Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Texas) is commending Republican governors for sending migrants across state lines to Democratic-leaning areas, a move he then said may lead to an arrest.
Cruz praised Texas Gov. Greg Abbott and Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis on Friday for transporting migrants by bus and plane to heavily liberal cities and communities comparable to Washington and Martha’s Vineyard in Massachusetts.
Democrats have slammed the governors for his or her apparent protests of immigration policies under President Joe Biden, with White House press secretary Karine Jean-Pierre calling the efforts “just plain improper” for using migrants as “political pawns.”
Cruz told Fox News host Sean Hannity that Martha’s Vineyard needs to be sent 1,000 more migrants and that Washington should get 500,000 more.
Hannity then asked Cruz, a lawyer who graduated from Harvard Law School, a hypothetical: “Let’s say I went all the way down to the border and … picked up a bunch of illegal immigrants, and I began transporting them across the country. Would I … be arrested for human trafficking?”
Cruz, who seconds before encouraged sending more migrants to different locations within the U.S., cautioned against the move.
“For you [Hannity], a citizen, you may easily be arrested — although to be honest, Joe Biden’s Justice Department wouldn’t arrest you,” he said.
You’ll be able to watch a clip of the senator’s conversation with Hannity below.
Hannity bizarrely gets Ted Cruz to confess that transporting migrants across state lines is unlawful and would lead to his arrest for human trafficking if he did it pic.twitter.com/uW7tZlQf7g
— Aaron Rupar (@atrupar) September 17, 2022
The legality of the governor-backed migrant trips stays unclear to experts, in response to The Washington Post.
The query comes all the way down to “whether there’s any provision which supplies immunity to government officials to move individuals who entered the country illegally,” Bridgette Carr, a law professor on the University of Michigan, told the newspaper.
“I could be curious if that immunity extends beyond federal officials,” said Carr, who noted that the U.S. Border Patrol can transport migrants.
One other expert, Boston University professor Sarah Sherman-Stokes, said there are questions on whether DeSantis was acting in a private capability or as a governor.
If migrants were misled or sent on the trips against their will, that may be “perilously near human trafficking. But it surely’s not clear to me … that it’s more like human trafficking or like smuggling,” she added.
“DeSantis is exploiting them for political gain, but I’m undecided that rises to the extent of human trafficking,” Sherman-Stokes said.