A pair of southern Republican governors this week used scores of migrants in a political stunt designed to bludgeon Democrats about the state of the nation’s immigration system, loading the migrants onto airplanes and buses bound for heavily progressive places to the north.

But while the political message from Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis and Texas Gov. Greg Abbott was clear, the abrupt drop-offs left uncertain what would happen to the human beings involved and raised complicated questions about how the immigration system works, what rights migrants have and what legal issues are involved.

Immigration lawyers and legal observers said they were still determining whether any laws were broken when Abbott sent nearly 100 migrants, including children, to be dropped off by bus without warning outside Vice President Kamala Harris’ residence in Washington, D.C., and when DeSantis arranged for about 50 more to be flown on chartered planes to Martha’s Vineyard, the island vacation spot in Massachusetts.