Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis (R) called California Gov. Gavin Newsom’s (D) demand for an investigation into the migrant flights to California authorized by Florida “absurd” during an interview Monday. 

“I think it’s just absurd,” DeSantis, who is running for president, told Fox Business’s Stuart Varney on Varney & Co . “I mean California is a sanctuary state. They actually provide benefits for illegal aliens. And so they’re serving really as a magnet for people to cross our border illegally.” 

The governor went on to pledge to build a border wall if elected president and to “hold the Mexican drug cartels accountable for what they’ve done to poison tens of thousands of Americans every year.”

“But, at the same time, if you do have people here illegally and a court says they can stay until there’s some type of court date, I think that’s a bad system,” he said. “But if it is, the sanctuary jurisdiction should be the one to have to bear that burden. We’re not a sanctuary state in Florida, and I think it’s wrong that states that are doing it right would have to bear burden. And so they’ve asked for this, they’ve invited it, and they should step up.”

DeSantis’s comments are the latest in a war of words between him and his Democratic California counterpart, which began last year following the migrant flights to Sacramento.

Last week, Newsom called on the Justice Department to investigate Florida’s migrant relocation effort. The letter to Attorney General Merrick Garland claims that it is “not uncommon for local jurisdictions and nongovernmental organizations to facilitate onward travel from the border” in some instances, but that “this scheme is different: according to news reports, recruiters deceived migrants into taking flights to these particular locations based on promises of jobs and shelter.”

“It is unconscionable to use people as political props by persuading them to travel to another state based on false or deceptive representations. We urge USDOJ to investigate potential violations of federal law by those involved in this scheme,” the letter reads. 

Last month, Florida confirmed it was behind recent migrant flights to Sacramento from Texas, and California Attorney General Rob Bonta (D) vowed to investigate potential wrongdoing by Florida officials related to the flights. Last year, DeSantis sent dozens of migrants from Texas to Martha’s Vineyard as part of the migrant relocation effort, as other Republican governors moved to bus or fly thousands of migrants north to cities controlled by Democrats as a way to protest the Biden administration’s immigration policies.