Law Professor Jonathan Turley: If Transporting Migrants Is Illegal, ‘Biden Would Be the Biggest Coyote Ever’

Melanie Arter | September 19, 2022 | 4:38pm EDT
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George Washington University Law School professor Jonathan Turley (Photo by BONNIE CASH/POOL/AFP via Getty Images)
George Washington University Law School professor Jonathan Turley (Photo by BONNIE CASH/POOL/AFP via Getty Images)

( – The Biden administration cannot charge the governors of Texas or Florida with a federal crime because the migrants that were sent to Democrat-run cities gave their consent for transport, George Washington University Law Professor Jonathan Turley said Monday.

“I don't see a case, unless they can establish some systemic coercion or fraud, there’s really not a federal crime here. They can find individual cases that might be somehow actionable, but what the state has said is that they have express consent for these flights,” he told Fox News’ “America Reports.”

“There are rational reasons why someone would want to leave the border area, which has been, it just has this influx of undocumented migrants and go to areas that might have better employment possibilities or better levels of support, and you know, what they are arguing here is that this is an illegal transport of migrants,” Turley said. 

“If that was the case, then Joe Biden would be the biggest coyote ever. Right? I mean he's transferring thousands of people across the country, also public interest organizations transfer migrants. All of them are saying, as they need to, and need to establish, that this is done with their consent, but there are rational reasons why migrants would want to go to New York or Chicago and away from these border areas,” he said.

What’s more, there’s no case for human trafficking, because no one was exploited for sex or labor, Turley said.

“Human trafficking is usually transferring or transporting someone for the purposes of exploiting them for sex or labor. That's not thankfully being alleged here with Governor DeSantis. Transportation of individuals occur all the time in the federal government. Governor Newsom has himself when he was mayor, I believe, transferred homeless people to other states,” he said.

“Was he kidnapping them? Was that human trafficking? The answer is no. They were vulnerable, but they're allowed to make the consensual choice. Once the migrants are released by the federal government into the country, they have the right to go anywhere they want, and therefore, groups like public interest groups or states can assist them with their consent,” Turley added.

“What's really concerning for me is that this is not literally human trafficking. That is literally nonsense, and we do have some obligation to tell the public what the law is. This was a political -- some people can call it political stunt, but the federal code does not make political irony a crime. You’re going to have to deal with it as a political matter, not as a criminal matter,” he said.

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