Ron DeSantis’ migrant flights questioned after new documents released

Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis’ (R) bid to transport migrants last month may have gone beyond the scope of an original program designed by the state, the Washington Post reports from new state records.

Driving the news: The state program, launched in July, was intended to “remove from the state of Florida foreign nationals who are not lawfully present in the United States,” the Post reports.

  • The state’s program did not mention the potential of transporting migrants from Texas, the Post notes from records released by the Florida Department of Transportation and the governor’s office.
  • State records also show Florida paid Vertol Systems, an Oregon-based charter airline, $615,000 for the September flights to Martha’s Vineyard, Massachusetts. That equates to about $12,300 for each of the 50 migrants aboard the two planes.
  • DeSantis’ team did not immediately respond to Axios’ request for comment.

The big picture: State Sen. Jason Pizzo (D) sued DeSantis and other state officials over the offer to transport the migrants, saying it violated the state program because the migrants were not in the country illegally and their flight did not originate in Florida.

  • DeSantis has defended his controversial program, saying, “Most of them intend to come to Florida,” the Post reports.
  • “Our view is that you have to deal with it at the source,” he said during a news conference in DaytonaBeach, Florida.

Go deeper… Where GOP Governors Transport Migrants

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