DeSantis will continue migrant flights, spokesperson says

  • Florida will continue to fly migrants out of the state, DeSantis’ office confirmed Saturday.
  • The program was halted due to officials responding to Hurricane Ian.
  • The state paid $1 million to charter migrant flights to Delaware and Illinois, documents show.

Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis’ program to move migrants from Florida to Democratic-led states is set to continue, a spokesman for the politician confirmed Saturday.

Last month, DeSantis and his team helped coordinate a flight of 49 Venezuelan migrants from Texas to Martha’s Vineyard, Mass., to make a political statement on illegal immigration and advocate for closed borders. The move was widely criticized by Democrats and opened the door to lawsuits and investigations against the governor.

On Sunday, DeSantis grilled the Biden administration over its immigration policies while also referencing the Martha’s Vineyard incident during a campaign event in Coral Springs, Florida.

“When we had millions of people coming across the border, they ignored the problem… they only cared when [migrants] began popping up in DC, New York City and Martha’s Vineyard. That’s the only time they care,” DeSantis said.

DeSantis also said he agreed with former President Donald Trump’s border policies that required migrants to wait in Mexico for their U.S. immigration deals.

“President Trump was right to have them wait at the border, most of the claims are denied and then they have to go back to the other countries,” DeSantis said, “but just to get people in, will never hear from them again.”

Taryn Fenske, a communications director for DeSantis, confirmed Saturday that the aerial stunts will continue. Fenske told the Associated Press that the program is active as officials responded to Hurricane Ian, a Category 4 hurricane that devastated Florida and other southeastern states.

“While Florida has had all hands on deck responding to our catastrophic hurricane, the immigration relocation program remains active,” Fenske told the Associated Press.

According to documents released Friday by the Florida Department of Transportation, Florida paid $1 million to create two more flights to Delaware and Illinois. The flights were supposed to take place before October 3, but will now take place before December 1, the AP reported.

DeSantis himself has declined to comment on whether more migrants would be on the way following speculation that he would send planes to President Joe Biden’s home state of Delaware.

Although Republican-led efforts to transport migrants across the country have bolstered GOP talking points on immigration and border policy, the stunts could open legal avenues for those transported to receive temporary visas.

A spokesman for DeSantis did not immediately respond to Insider’s request for comment.

Leave a Comment