Karla Hernández thinks ‘more people should have paid attention’ before voting for migrant relocation fund
Karla Hernandez in Jacksonville. Image via A.G. Gancarski.

karla hernandez jax smile
"I wish more people would have been vocal about it as well."

The Democratic candidate for Lt. Governor says that more scrutiny should have been applied to the $12 million in the state budget to relocate migrants, but acknowledges that a no vote wouldn’t have mattered in the end

Charlie Crist’s running mate Karla Hernández spoke to ongoing frustration about the the Ron DeSantis-directed flights sending two planes with about 50 migrants to Martha’s Vineyard earlier this month, responding as follows to a question about whether that should have been a Democratic deal breaker in a budget vote.

“I wish more people would have paid attention to it. I wish more people would have been vocal about it as well. Unfortunately, even if they would have voted no, it would have still passed,” Hernández told Florida Politics in Jacksonville Saturday.

Democrats did push back against the fund to no avail, but only two House Democrats voted down on the overall budget.

Republicans have noted the irony of Democrats voting for the budget including the appropriation.

“The funding for transporting illegal aliens to sanctuary jurisdictions was a highlight of the budget DeSantis signed MONTHS ago. Dem legislators performing outrage today voted for it Promises made, promises kept,” tweeted DeSantis rapid response director Christina Pushaw earlier this month.

Hernández noted that Senators, namely South Florida Democrat Jason Pizzo, have filed suits to “block the use of that money.”

“Not only is it erratic spending, it is not for the purpose it was intended,” Hernández said.

“He’s creating a political plot here,” she said of DeSantis, “where he’s playing with people’s lives. These are families. These are children who are refugees from places that we know are harmful to people.”

“We should be good neighbors like the neighbors in Martha’s Vineyard who actually showed them love and compassion, and empathy,” Hernández said.

“For him to waste taxpayers’ dollars on these types of games, this political, you know, using them as pawns, not only shows disrespect to these migrant families, but it also shows disrespect to Florida taxpayers. Because there are so many issues here like affordability that people want to be talking about, and he’s wasting money.”

DeSantis seems to be downplaying the migrant relocation strategy at this point. A recent fundraising email on the topic of immigration did not mention the Martha’s Vineyard incident at all.

DeSantis defended the migrant flight Thursday in Miami, again blaming President Biden for having “dumped people all over the fruited plain,” continuing a pattern of deflection in the wake of last week’s events.

Earlier this week, DeSantis told friendly interviewer Sean Hannity that travelers and those in Martha’s Vineyard “wanted” the plane to land.

“They said they wanted this, they said they were a sanctuary jurisdiction,” DeSantis claimed.

The migrants had “all signed consent forms to go,” DeSantis said, showing that the flights were “clearly voluntary and all the other nonsense you’re hearing is just not true.”

A press conference earlier this week was animated by questions about the Delaware trip, with DeSantis refusing to “confirm” the trip was happening as rumored. Ultimately, there was no landing in Delaware, a swerve that a DeSantis-linked source said left the media “punked.” Subsequent reporting from the Miami Herald revealed that these immigrants were stranded as a result.

A.G. Gancarski

A.G. Gancarski has written for FloridaPolitics.com since 2014. He is based in Northeast Florida. He can be reached at [email protected] or on Twitter: @AGGancarski


  • PeterH

    September 25, 2022 at 4:12 pm



    • PeterH Is A Moron

      September 25, 2022 at 7:28 pm

      PeterH is a moron.

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  • Lynda

    September 25, 2022 at 5:50 pm

    Re: deSantis and planes to cities and states with better laws

    I am sick of deSantis’s Frat Boy games. Using Florida taxpayer dollars to send 50 recorded legal Asylum seekers from Texas with actual court dates and ICE check-ins scheduled far away from the small island of Martha’s Vineyard is a cruel way for him get attention. Like trump any attention –the more negative, the more ability to whine–is better than doing his job as FL’s governor. MA fortunately has more protective laws than TX or FL and deSantis ended up doing these 50 Asylum Seekers a big favor by taking them out of failed Texas to MA.

    Fellow Florida taxpayers, deSantis is using Asylum Seekers from a Communist country and those of us who can still afford to pay Florida property and sales taxes as pawns in his political games. Meanwhile he smirks at us for actually paying his salary and the salaries of his incompetent staff. deSantis flits about the country handing out dark money to Election Deniers, antisemites and insurrectionists who have the arrogance to run for offices for which they are woefully unqualified. Stay home, Ron and do the job Floridians are paying you to do.

    And I am very troubled by Mrs. deSantis’ comments about Karla Hernandez. She has every right as a private citizen to speak up about Ms Hernandez’s comments of which she does not approve. However, no one has indicated what qualifications Mrs deSantis has to attack Ms. Hernandez except as a political opponent of her her husband. If Mrs. deSantis works with special needs children and feels entitled to speak on their behalf, that is a different matter and I apologize for saying she has pushed herself into a political fight without giving up her status as a family member above political fights.

    Of course as a compassionate person I wished–like most Floridians– Mrs. deSantis well in her battle with cancer ; I am sure her health insurance was a blessing to her and her family. I wish Mrs. deSantis would speak up for those who are not able to pay for cancer treatments since FL. will not expand Medicaid; that would be a good way for her to pass her blessing on to those in need.

    • CPT Obvious

      September 25, 2022 at 7:27 pm

      You could of paid for it.

    • R A . New

      September 25, 2022 at 10:00 pm

      Lydia is a nut case, and democratic blinded saying distortion, haft true, what would it cost Florida to take care of 50 illegal immigrants for a year or 5, 10.money well spent to stop illegal immigrants from coming to this country on the true reason to get free hand outs.If you want to be here do it the legal way !

      • Ocean Joe

        September 26, 2022 at 4:58 am

        Florida just spent $600,000 for this stunt.
        These asylum seekers were in Texas, not Florida.
        Fleeing a socialist dictatorship.
        Not everyone can be an elderly Slovenian couple who are the parents of Trump’s 3rd or 4th wife and be granted instant citizenship.
        And not a cent of what was spent will stop immigrants.
        The only benefit was to Desantis’s presidential ambitions, assuming Americans want somebody that cruel in the White House again.

        • Jim

          September 26, 2022 at 10:51 am

          Texas is a “socialist dictatorship?”

          • MR. INDEPENDENT

            September 27, 2022 at 8:23 pm


        • CPT Obvious

          September 27, 2022 at 1:01 pm

          So why isn’t the Biden Administration locking down the Southern border then? Why is Harris not doing her job?

          And yet there are so many illegal immigrant “Sanctuary Cities” which allow illegal immigrants to vote in elections against the Constitution.

  • Hope

    September 26, 2022 at 9:40 am

    It is not a political stunt when there is no process in place and it is amounting to lawlessness.

    • Jim

      September 26, 2022 at 10:52 am

      It was indeed a “political stunt.” The migrants weren’t even in Florida, they were in Texas. Wake up.

      • Hope

        September 26, 2022 at 1:44 pm

        Next stop The Hamptons!


          September 27, 2022 at 8:22 pm


  • Lex Taylor

    September 26, 2022 at 10:02 am

    We have a National Immigration policy (which is not being followed by the current President). It makes very reasonable sense that the burdens of that border policy failure should be spread out across the United States. “Sanctuary Cities” should understand that they are welcoming illegal immigrants, and this incenting more people to illegally enter the USA. If these Sanctuary Cities are getting any illegal immigrants, they are only a tiny fraction of the number of illegal immigrants in the country.

    It’s very disingenuous to state the majority of these people are technical refugees. Very few will fall under the legal definition and if they were actual refugees, then those refugees should comply with the rest of our laws and self-report at the border upon entry.

    I am all for improvements to LEGAL IMMIGRATION. But that can only occur when the country has put a stop to illegal immigration. Illegal immigration is a scourge for everyone except the people that exploit the illegal immigrants for cheap labor. Even the illegal immigrants become second class citizens because of fear of deportation.

    I wish advocates for illegal immigration would realize that after the border is closed, they would have allies for reform, but we need confidence that the border is truly closed and would remain closed for that support to materialize.

  • Harsh Truths

    September 27, 2022 at 3:33 pm

    Cattle trucks are used to transport cattle and have been used to transport new recruits during basic training. These cattle trucks would be a cheaper alternative to transporting illegal immigrants.

Comments are closed.


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