The feud between the governors of California and Florida reached a new level on Monday, when Gavin Newsom accused Ron DeSantis of orchestrating a “kidnapping” of migrants and sending them to his state without their consent.

Newsom, a Democrat, called DeSantis, a Republican and potential 2024 presidential contender, a “small, pathetic man” who was trying to score political points by dumping migrants in California.

Newsom said he was considering filing criminal charges against DeSantis and his administration for violating the state’s kidnapping laws.

The dispute stems from a flight that arrived in Sacramento on Friday night, carrying 70 migrants from South America who had been detained in Texas.

According to Newsom, the migrants were not informed of their destination and were coerced into boarding the plane by Florida officials. Newsom claimed that DeSantis had arranged the flight as part of his “anti-immigrant agenda” and to divert attention from his mishandling of the COVID-19 pandemic in Florida.

DeSantis has not responded to Newsom’s allegations, but his spokesperson said the flight was part of a federal program to relocate migrants across the country and that Florida had no role in it.

The spokesperson also accused Newsom of lying and spreading misinformation to cover up his own failures in dealing with the immigration crisis at the border.

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