“Kidnapping is a Thing”: MSNBC Continues False Claim that DeSantis is Kidnapping Migrants

I have been writing about the claim of Hillary Clinton and others that the transportation of migrants to places like Martha’s Vineyard is “literally human trafficking” and other crimes. Despite the utter lack of legal basis for these allegations, major media has continued to air such claims. This weekend, MSNBC’s Tiffany Cross and MSNBC regular (and past writer for Above the Law and the Nation) Elie Mystal repeated the false claim that the trips constitute kidnapping.Mystal responded to Cross’ claim that the trip constitute “kidnapping” with a diatribe against “Republican fascists.” He then added

“What I believe is happening here is kidnapping…kidnapping is a thing. Kidnapping by trick is a thing. Telling people that you are going to take them one place and sending them someplace else is a form of kidnapping.”

Indeed, kidnapping “is a thing,” just not this thing.

As noted in a column this weekend, this claim was also made by Gov. Gavin Newsom.  It is legally absurd. Kidnapping requires that the culprit “unlawfully seizes, confines, inveigles, decoys, kidnaps, abducts, or carries away and holds for ransom or reward or otherwise any person.” There is nothing unlawful in conveying individuals who are lawfully in the country pending their immigration hearings; the trips are voluntary, and most migrants appear eager to accept free passage to cities like New York or Chicago.

Mystal also analogized the migrants to teenagers: “Imagine Ron DeSantis goes up to a group of white teenagers, offers them some candy and says, ‘Hey, I’m gonna take you to Disney World if you get in my van.’ And then Ron DeSantis drives them to Bush Gardens.”  Such analogies are insulting to adults who elect to accept free transport to cities like Chicago or New York. These are vulnerable individuals but these trips are only being offered to adults to decide if they want to take advantage of the free transportation.

It is reminiscent of the recently deleted tweet by NBC analogizing migrants to “trash.” The trash analogy seems far worse but the suggestion that these migrants are like minors or teens being lured by candy is pretty insulting. These are adults who are clearly in desperate situations but they are not like children or teenagers unable to decide whether to remain near the border or accept a flight to another city.  Would Mystal make the same claim of being “lured” to the country to cross illegally? While there have been alleged misrepresentations, those allegations have not been proven and there has not been evidence of any systemic misrepresentations. Thus far, these transfers appear consensual, including signed or express acceptance of the free transportation. There are rational reasons why migrants would prefer to go to cities like New York rather than remain along the border given the huge influx of migrations.

Mystal has previously caused uproars for controversial claims from accusing a senator of wanting to murder Justice Ketanji Brown Jackson to his continued attacks on a high school student even after he was cleared of a false race-based story. He has called the Constitution “trash” and previously stated that white, non-college-educated voters supported Republicans because they care about “using their guns on Black people and getting away with it.” He has also lashed out at “white society” and explained how he strived to maintain a “whiteness free” life in the pandemic. He also called all Republicans “white supremacists.”

However, it is the misrepresentation of the criminal law that is most concerning.  There are good-faith reasons to oppose these trips as a political stunt. That does not make them federal crimes.  The effort to bend and twist the criminal code for such political purposes is a dangerous trend. You can denounce these transfers without trying to criminalize such policies.

In legal analysis, accuracy is also “a thing.” We do not always get it right but it requires a modicum of objectivity. It is not that our personal views are not expressed in what we wish might happen. However, calling these trips “kidnapping” is to take a flight from one’s legal senses.


124 thoughts on ““Kidnapping is a Thing”: MSNBC Continues False Claim that DeSantis is Kidnapping Migrants”

  1. When are people going to fully understand that Elie Mystal is an anti-white racist bigot and a liar, yes a RACIST and a LIAR, he will say anything to push his pure racist bigotry. MSNBC is a willing immoral participant by continuing to give this racist bigot a soap box to spew his racism, MSNBC is literally an enabler of anti-white racism and they do it purely for political purposes which makes them political hacks.

  2. In a free country, the media (execs, producers, editors) are held in check by the audience through audience abandonment. It’s a normal process. Places where standards are still upheld (e.g. substack) will draw the good journalists, while the political infowarriors will be stuck on the sinking ship.

  3. Democrats are delusional Fascists! They appear to wish to copy the German National Socialists 1920’s, 1930’s and 1940’s
    Remember 14 million germans VOTED for them to make the majority!…Communists were 3rd!

    Propaganda works!

    Read H.G. Wells Outline of History to see what happens to empires when the power centralizes and the Machiavellians take over!

    1. Weekly lottery.

      Put all the affuent santurary cities in the US in the hopper and select a new one as the destination each week.

      Like the lottery Abbott, DeSantis can even televise the drawing each week.

      What is the lucky Sanctuary city of the week ?

  4. Just imagine for one second any white person saying half of the rubbish that Mystal has said and ask yourself how long that white person would be not only on the air, but also allowed in polite circles.

    Mystal is a black David Duke with a national platform thanks to Joy Reid, a racist clown that has been allowed to stay on the air despite her racism and of course her past homophobic statements. Again I ask, if a white man said about gays what Reid has said how long would the white guy be on the air? Well unless the “white guy” is a trans woman now being a man.

  5. There appears to be some uncertainty about what some of the migrants were told to get them on the planes. Even if some of them were misled into thinking they were going to Boston instead of Martha’s Vinyard that still would not be kidnapping since upon landing they were released not “held for ransom or reward or otherwise.” On the other hand, how was every last one of them got off the island by the National Guard in such a short time and sent to a military base on Cape Cod, and are they being held there?

  6. Just ask these clowns how the illegals got to NON-BORDER STATE FL in the first place. Biden flew them to Jacksonville, a place they obviously did not want to be sent to otherwise they wouldn’t have left.

    Biden has been flying ILLEGALS all over the country and not a peep from these people ruining our country from within.

  7. JT sure does know a lot without all the facts. The people flown to Marthas Vineyard may have been deceived about their final destination. We don’t know yet. At any rate, transporting immigrants to Marthas Vineyard was a disgusting political ploy. These are people, 50 people, human beings that were treated like objects. How disgusting. The Repo party has certainly shown their true colors. And don’t you dare call yourselves christian. You are are not followers of Christ. Read your damn Bible on how to treat people. Keep your disgusting pre election ploys going. This will certainly help in the mid terms. What happened to compassion?

    1. Yeah, using people as pawns just to expose the hypocrisy of sanctuary state and city advocates is so cruel. These people should all stay in southern Texas and Arizona so northern politicians could virtue signal with impunity.

      1. NYC, on the other hand, has been putting up these folks in very nice hotels and the taxpayers are paying anything fro $400 to $800 a night per person. However, more people who live in NYC are taking to the highways out and moving to less chaotic and expensive turf.

        1. RE:”NYC, on the other hand, has been putting up these folks in very nice hotels.” This gambit has become a windfall for entrepreneurs operating commercial residential enterprises in NYC and elsewhere. They will be loathe to see it end. Company loves misery.

    2. “The people flown to Marthas Vineyard may have been deceived about their final destination.”
      Matters very little.

      “These are people, 50 people, human beings that were treated like objects. How disgusting.”
      Just as when Biden flew then to FL.

      “The Repo party has certainly shown their true colors.”
      Republicans are having fun with this. they are likely to continue, because it is fun, and because it embarrasses you.

      “And don’t you dare call yourselves christian. You are are not followers of Christ. Read your damn Bible on how to treat people.”
      I beleive there is the verse that says when your neighbor dump’s 50 unwanted brown people into your backyard – haul them off to a military base as quickly as possible.

      “Keep your disgusting pre election ploys going. This will certainly help in the mid terms.”
      Almost certainly will be kept up – because it is working.
      You rant about not being christian – and yet one of the richest zipcodes in the US immediately got rid of 50 brown people.
      Your complaints about republicans may be true. But you can not speak them without confessing your own guilt.

      “What happened to compassion?”
      Compassion is a private voluntary act.

      There is and can not be any such thing as compassion in govenrment – government is force.
      There can be no forced compassion.

      How much compassion did those in MArtha’s vineyard have ?

  8. Putting migrants on a plane and sending them away to a location whee there is no housing and few jobs is a monumental dick move. This underscores the Republican philosophy that they enjoy hurting others to score political points with their base.

    1. One of the richest zipcodes in the US has no jobs and no housing ?

      Then they should be FORCED to make jobs and provide housing.

      Elite Left wing nuts made this mess. They should take some responsibility for cleaning it up.

      My city is about the population of MV and we take in more than 50 immigrant families a year.

  9. You can be sure that the Biden administration is presenting a menu of options to the illegal immigrants. Where would you like us to drop you off they say? More like your going to where we say your going. How is it that no one knows where Captain Biden is flying the illegal immigrants to. If we don’t know why would one think that the illegal passengers would know where they are going. Next stop Gary Indiana like it or not says Captain Joe.

  10. Why do we pay any attention to Mystal?

    Mr. Mystal is a race baiter, a sociopathic racist, and a self promoter.

    Like Julius Streicher and others of that ilk, they seize the opportunity to promote themselves, but ultimately, their intellectual poverty and lack of morality becomes obvious.

    They have loud voices, but no substance.

  11. The logical and sincere conclusion about helping refuges would be to lay on flights from the relevant countries, freely available to all, this would save all countless lives of people who die on a very dangerous journey. It would also cut out the criminal gangs who are relieving the refuges of all their money (transport fees)

    Either that or stop creating refuges by starting wars and sanctioning their countries.

  12. Restriction upon the Freedom of Interstate Travel was abolished with the ending of the American Civil War

  13. Why does the Media not engage in some self restraint….and just tell the truth….the straight unvarnished truth and be done with those of its membership that do not.

    There is plenty of material for the media to cover and sometimes expose on both political parties and politicians…and especially the government.

    That is the best role for them to play….as there is a hunger among the People for that kind of news…real news…not fabricated trumped up bogus bovine fecal matter.

    For sure Woke is Broke….both ethically and financially…..and factually.

    Hopefully we shall see that cancer removed from society in the next few years.

    A good start is a clean sweep during the 2022 Elections where we see Democrats lose the House and Senate and all of the Governor Races.

    1. “Why does the Media not engage in some self restraint….and just tell the truth….the straight unvarnished truth”

      Apart from the questions about media bias and “truth” (world is colerful and not black & white). Could you direct me to GOP 2020 National Agenda or much simpler:

      What had Leader Senator Mitch McConnell (R-KY) recently said about

      * Immigration and border control
      * crime
      * cost of living

      I vaguely remember that he acted like a GOP establishment pundit lamenting about quality of candites (elected by the electorate).

  14. When, as, and IF, that day should arrive in the future on which Governor Newsom announces his candidacy for the office of US President, supporters as well as opponents alike should recall Newsom’s characterization of migrant transport as kidnapping, as well as Newsom’s imploring the DOJ to pursue an investigation of criminal behavior by those involved in that transport.

  15. Thank you for the legal description of the act of kidnap… Elke Mystal like all the ‘race baiters’ need to reach his audience to remain relevant to his viewers, who also live in the same silo as Mystal !

  16. There’s a good reason MSNBC, CNN and others don’t allow you to comment on their stories online.

    1. If what you say is true, the reason is obvious. Professor Turley states the truth something CNN and MSNBC cannot tolerate.

      Why don’t you apply as a commentator on those networks. You have no concern for the truth and you might actually create better lies than some others that spew their hate on those networks.

  17. With the supposed shift of CNN to a more centrist position, that leaves only MSNBC on the unhinged left. The days of Mystal, Reid, Cross and Hostin are numbered. They made a choice. They decided to jump on the racism train and ride it to obscurity. Their audience has shrunk to pathetic numbers, and the more they rant incoherently, the more audience they lose. CNN and, hopefully, Politico have understood that going woke means going broke. The ideologues and demagogues at MSNBC had better wake up, because their hate and lies just don’t sell.

    1. If their audience is shrinking, it should be reflected in the 2022 November elections. For the good of America, we can only hope. Actually, we should be doing more than hoping, we should be actively on the phone or going door-to-door on behalf of sane candidates.

      1. “We should be actively on the phone or going door-to-door on behalf of sane candidates.”

        Grassroots movement is phantastic! It’s even more fun if the party leaders support grassroots, namely if “sane candidates” you support are those with “quality issues” .

    2. “With the supposed shift of CNN to a more centrist position”

      Wishful thinking!

      The new owners made you belief this because you should watch their program!

      Howevery, with a little knowledge about huge organizations:

      1. In theory, President of the US is the most powerful person. In praxis he have to get permission from WaPo, NYT and look-a-likes about his talking points.
      2. Do you think that DOJ/FBI will change the way the act, if another leader is in the drivers seat?
      3. What should – in your opinion – Chris Licht do to change anchors, host, reporters, contibutors and all those “journalists” working behind the scene, change their political view?

      Do you think that Scott Jennings, who is labeled as “conservative commentator”, has anything in common with MAGA movement?

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