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Was it legal for Gov. DeSantis to relocate migrants to Martha's Vineyard? Expert says no

Was it legal for Florida's governor to send migrants to Martha's Vineyard?
Was it legal for Florida's governor to send migrants to Martha's Vineyard? 01:52

BOURNE - If President Joe Biden relocates migrants, why can't Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis? Legal experts say there's actually a very straightforward answer.

"He has sent midnight flights all around this country," DeSantis said Friday. "You know they're complaining about one nice flight, or two flights into Martha's Vineyard."

But it's not about how many migrants were sent to Massachusetts. It's about how, legal experts say.

"In the case of Arizona vs U.S., the court was exceedingly clear that this is the federal government's reign not the state," said law professor Dina Haynes.

Meaning, it was likely not within Governor DeSantis' power to ship this group of Venezuelan migrants on a private plane in the first place.

Local immigration attorneys have stepped in to help the migrants with their paperwork. They say many of these migrants are asylum seekers meaning they are not technically in the U.S. illegally.

"And it means they've been taken advantage of in multiple ways that might damage their cases," Haynes said.

Haynes says if these migrants had scheduled immigration appointments in Texas or in other areas that they're now going to miss because they were flown to Martha's Vineyard, it could derail their chances of legally immigrating to the U.S.

"It's at the very least fraud," Haynes said. "It's potentially unauthorized practice of law. It could be any combination of kidnapping or trafficking depending on the facts."

Those immigration attorneys on the ground are helping the migrants get their paperwork in order. They expect there could be serious legal consequences for the people who planned what they're calling a "political stunt."

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