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NBC News national security analyst Frank Figliuzzi slammed Governor Ron DeSantis, R-Fla., during a Saturday episode of the “Dean Obeidallah Show,” but warned liberals against accusing him on human trafficking.
Liberal commentator and SiriusXM host Dean Obeidallah spoke to Figliuzzi about how Republican governors are sending illegal immigrants to heavily-Democrat cities and neighborhoods like Martha’s Vineyard.
“Ron DeSantis flying human beings from Texas-a flight started in Texas and then somehow stopped for a minute in Florida, and went on the way to Martha’s Vineyard,” Obeidallah recounted to his guest.
He claimed that migrants were lured in with false promises before asking, “At what point does it become a crime, like human trafficking, or is there some other crime that could be implicated here?”
The Wall Street Journal editorial board criticized the media for its handling of and reporting on the Florida whistleblower. (REUTERS/Joe Skipper)
Figliuzzi warned that while the initiative pursued by both DeSantis and Texas Governor Greg Abbott, R., may not qualify as human trafficking, it may still be against some federal laws.
“People keep throwing around the term ‘human trafficking.’ Be careful with that. I don’t think it violates the human trafficking statutes, but I absolutely think that it violates a law that says you can’t transport across state lines, undocumented migrants, period, end of discussion,” he warned. “So whatever the hell was done with DeSantis, and by the way-just, so people understand this, these Venezuelans, they weren’t in Florida.”
Illegal immigrants arrive at Martha’s Vineyard Airport on Wednesday, Sept. 14, 2022. (Video obtained by Fox News)
“People might go, ‘oh yeah, Florida’s got an immigration problem.’ Uh no, they didn’t swim over. They were in Texas. And DeSantis sent a Florida plane, just because he wants it on the stunt, right? He wants to say, ‘yeah, I don’t—I hate brown people as much as everybody else does, right? I’m in on this.’”
Figliuzzi repeated his point that while DeSantis’ action may not qualify as human trafficking, it may still be a major legal gamble.
Migrants, mostly from Central America, queue to board a van which will take them to a processing center, on May 16, 2019, in El Paso, Texa (PAUL RATJE/AFP via Getty Images)
“So, yeah, I do think there’s a there’s a violation of law,” he noted. “It’s not the trafficking law, but it’s the law that says you can’t transport undocumented migrants across state lines.”
Liberal commentators have accused DeSantis’ operation of being human trafficking.
Failed presidential candidate Hillary Clinton suggested during an appearance on MSNBC’s Morning Joe that DeSantis is guilty of human trafficking.
“I think, Joe, you have laid out the craziness of the time in which we’re living where some politicians would rather not only have an issue but exacerbate it to the extent of literally human trafficking, as you said,” she said.
Podcast host and former MSNBC anchor Keith Olbermann made a similar accusation.
“This just ups the ante here: False promises of recompense and jobs if they got into a vehicle; photographic exploitation of them… It’s human trafficking,” he tweeted.
Alexander Hall is an associate editor for Fox News Digital. Story tips can be sent to [email protected]