Ron DeSantis, the Governor of Florida, has finally addressed the controversy surrounding the funding of migrant flights from Texas to Sacramento, expressing his belief that states like California and New York should shoulder the responsibility for the consequences of “open borders.”
After admitting that his team assisted in transporting migrants to Sacramento via a private jet and releasing footage of their seemingly cheerful journey, DeSantis made his views clear during a visit to the southern border. He emphasized his continued support for states that refuse to provide sanctuary to migrants.
DeSantis stated, “If there’s a policy advocating for an open border, then I think the sanctuary jurisdictions should bear the consequences. Florida is not a sanctuary state. We understand that people want to come here, so the more we can divert before they even reach our state, the better it is for us.”
Highlighting the contrasting financial situations between California and Florida, DeSantis noted, “California has a significant budget deficit, while we have a substantial budget surplus. This gives us the ability to support law enforcement and assist Texas. If a sheriff in Texas requests our support, we view it as an American problem rather than just a Texas problem. We are willing to provide resources and transportation assistance. We want to be helpful in addressing this issue.”
The Florida Division of Emergency Management released footage showing migrants being transported on a private jet, displaying moments of joy as they listened to music, signed waivers, and appeared to be enjoying themselves.
An alleged migrant captured a selfie video upon arriving in California, expressing gratitude and thanking God in Spanish. The video showcased the de Havilland plane that had brought them to Sacramento Executive Airport.
Alecia Collins, the communications director for the department, stated that the relocation was voluntary, as evidenced by the video footage. “Florida’s voluntary relocation is precisely that – voluntary,” she affirmed in a related statement.
The origin of the videos and pictures remains unclear, but some appear to have been taken by the migrants themselves. None of the individuals featured were identified, and the video lacked any accompanying descriptions.
Other clips depicted the migrants cheering on a bus, singing along to music, and flashing peace signs with their hands. In a briefing room, they were asked in Spanish if they felt mistreated at any point. One person responded, “No, they treated us very well.”
The transportation of approximately three dozen migrants from Florida to California by Governor DeSantis is the latest development in the relocation of asylum seekers from the southern border to Democratic-led “sanctuary cities.”
As a sanctuary state, California has launched an investigation into what it refers to as “state-sanctioned kidnapping” after the migrants were left at the doorstep of a Sacramento church without prior notice.
Officials in California stated on Tuesday that the transportation of migrants was facilitated by Vertol Systems Company, a private firm that previously organized flights for Venezuelan migrants from San Antonio to Martha’s Vineyard.
The migrants, mainly from Venezuela but also from Colombia, arrived in Sacramento on two separate flights, with the first carrying 16 individuals on Friday and the second carrying 20 on Monday.
Governor Gavin Newsom of California criticized DeSantis, labeling him a “small, pathetic man” and threatening to press kidnapping charges against his administration on Twitter. Newsom stated that he was collaborating with the California Department of Justice to determine if any criminal actions were involved in orchestrating the flights.
In response, the Florida Division of Emergency Management released a statement on Tuesday, arguing that the criticism from Californian officials was unjust. The statement pointed out that the relocation of individuals crossing the border illegally was not a new practice, citing examples such as mayors in El Paso, Texas, and Denver, Colorado.
“However,” the statement emphasized, “when Florida sends illegal aliens to a sanctuary city, suddenly it’s labeled as false imprisonment and kidnapping.”