Democratic legislators demand feds probe Gov. DeSantis’ migrant flights
Refugees in Martha's Vineyard after Gov. Ron DeSantis flew two planes of immigrants to Martha's Vineyard. Image via AP.

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'Not only is all of this morally wrong, but there are serious legal concerns.'

A coalition of Democratic legislators is demanding that the Joe Biden administration investigate Gov. Ron DeSantis for his administration’s migrant transport program.

DeSantis’ decision last month to send two planes with about 50 migrants from Texas to Martha’s Vineyard (with a Florida stopover on the itinerary) spurred letters urging action from Reps. Dotie Joseph and Anna V. Eskamani, undersigned by two state Senators, House Democratic leadership, and 23 other House Democrats.

“The DeSantis Administration and those it worked with to implement this inhuman and potentially illegal act must be held accountable, especially as Governor DeSantis says he plans to continue profiling and trafficking asylum seekers who present themselves at the southern border,” Eskamani asserted.

“Not only is all of this morally wrong, but there are serious legal concerns around fraud, kidnapping, human trafficking, deprivation of liberty, and violations of human and civil rights, including 18 U.S.C. § 241 and § 242,” Joseph added.

The letters to the Biden administration’s Departments of Justice and Transportation were written Joseph’s letterhead.

The letter to Attorney General Merrick Garland accused the DeSantis administration of civil rights violations, via “lying to newly arrived asylum seekers” and allegedly offering fraudulent inducements to board the plane to Massachusetts last month.

The letter to Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg urged a “compliance review” to determine whether the use of $12 million in interest from pandemic relief funds was legal. Joseph urged Buttigieg to contact the plaintiffs currently suing DeSantis for the unwanted transport to Martha’s Vineyard as part of his investigation of the claim.

The DeSantis administration has downplayed the migrant relocation program since Hurricane Ian hit last week, as focus has turned to disaster response and recovery. But ahead of the storm, one campaign spox and administration alum was gloating that Democrats voted for the fund as part of the larger budget.

“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,” tweeted DeSantis rapid response director Christina Pushaw earlier this month. “Promises made, promises kept.”

Not all Democrats voted Yes, however.

“The only person ‘performing’ in this heartless political stunt is the Governor,” notes Joseph, who voted against the budget allocation.

DeSantis defended the migrant flight last month in Miami, again blaming President Biden for having “dumped people all over the fruited plain,” as part of a series of quotes deflecting responsibility.

Notably, 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.”

A second flight appears to have been scuttled, but not before a memorable news cycle all its own. DeSantis refused to “confirm” a rumored Delaware flight landing with more redirected migrants. Ultimately, that didn’t happen, a move that a DeSantis-linked source said left the media “punked.”

Subsequent reporting from the Miami Herald revealed that these immigrants who were promised transport were stranded as a result.

Despite the reporting in the wake of the flight to Martha’s Vineyard, at least one poll suggests it’s a winner with voters. A recent Spectrum News/Siena College Poll shows that 49% of all respondents approved of the migrant relocation scheme, against 44% disapproval.

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


16 comments

  • Impeach Biden

    October 4, 2022 at 8:49 am

    Funny these Democrats don’t say a word about “Air Jose Biden” flying thousands around the country in the middle of the night. They now are sending them to more and more remote airports to avoid any media scrutiny. Eskamani and her other progressive hacks here in Florida have nothing else. Let’s see how many get some face time with Jose Biden today.

    • nail

      October 4, 2022 at 12:11 pm

      The federal government flies adult detainees in its custody from one facility to another, or from one U.S. city to another during deportation proceedings. The U.S. government in some cases also flies unaccompanied children who are being released from its custody to a family member or sponsor. Children are not allowed to stay in border control for more than 72 hours, but you knew that, or were you just playing stupid. Some of these flights may happen at night, but they are not covert operations. The same types of routine flights were done by the Trump administration.
      The law says “from FL” That does not mean go to TX and pick them up. He thought if he stopped in FL that was enough to meet the law. Nope, they did not get off the plane (video) they were still in TX as far as the law goes. Until the disembarked after they were kidnapped, on a non sanctuary remote island. The garbage paper he made them sign, all in English, 2 lines in Spanish.
      The federal lawsuit, in MA was revised yesterday for the state and DeSatan personally.
      Now that they have found Perla, the counterintelligence coyote Desatan hired to lure thee ppl, she will be spilling all the dirt.
      If you think Ian is going to cost, wait until FL gets the bill for these lawsuits. Hope he is keeping those extra funds in Finter Bank with his BIC close at hand.

      • John

        October 5, 2022 at 12:47 pm

        Please pull your head out of NPR’s butthole and uncross your eyes,..after that please answer if the migrants asked to go from Martha’s vineyard to a military base…if ever there was white privilege it Martha’s vineyard but they are democrats so it’s ok…but,but,Obama lives there part time.you people are the biggest hypocrites on planet earth

  • Tom

    October 4, 2022 at 8:49 am

    Two corrupt st reps, incompetent clowns.
    No one listening.

    • Elliott Offen

      October 4, 2022 at 12:31 pm

      Yeah no one listening to your gibberish…

  • Julio Gomez-Lopez

    October 4, 2022 at 9:22 am

    Some of us couldn’t read the paperwork but they made us sign it anyway. We didn’t know where we were going. Many of us were sexually assaulted by DeSantis men.

  • Tjb

    October 4, 2022 at 9:27 am

    If migrants are an issue in Florida, why did DeSantis kidnap migrants from Texas to send to Martha’s Vineyard? I bet he could have found a few Cuban migrants in Miami-Dade County to kidnap.
    And Impeach, those folks being flown around at night are migrants being reunited with family or sponsors legally, and to transport these migrants is not costing $60,000 per migrant , the cost of DeSantis folly.

    • Impeach Biden

      October 4, 2022 at 9:42 am

      So if they are truly being reunited with their family, why the middle of the night? Why are these cities claiming they are overrun with people at their shelters if the are reuniting with family? You can buy the spin from CNN and MSNBC. I’m not buying it. Jose Biden continues to ignore the catastrophe at the border. Thanks to the Governor’s of Florida, Texas, and Arizona it is becoming a “nationwide” problem. Even the CNN and MSNBC spin machines which have ignored this story are starting to report. Too late, the voters will show Jose what they think of his complete lack of border security come November.

    • Tom

      October 4, 2022 at 11:21 am

      Total lies, demented tjb.
      No kidnapping. You have gone mental.

      • Charlie Crist

        October 4, 2022 at 12:30 pm

        👆This guy is the biggest nut case on this website..also intellectually disabled “tropical 3 ocean windcane.” Vote for me. I’ll beat this guy in the head until his mental problems are not a problem for anyone anymore.

  • Hope

    October 4, 2022 at 9:44 am

    Failure by the president and vice-president to secure the border is dishonoring the Constitution and an Impeachable offense. Only weeks away and Kamala and Joe will face impeachment trials, be impeached, and then trials for treason will begin.

    • Impeach Biden

      October 4, 2022 at 9:52 am

      They should be impeached for not protecting our sovereign borders.

      • Joe Corsin

        October 4, 2022 at 10:54 am

        AHHH HAHAHA AHHHH 😆👍

        • Tom

          October 4, 2022 at 11:19 am

          Yes impeach.

          Several impeachment votes coming.
          3 to 4 for sure.
          Illegal invasion, Biden, Harris.
          Afghan abandonment.
          Hunter, Joe.
          China syndrome.
          DOJ, FBI, Garland.
          That’s enough the first 90 days.

          • Joe Corsin

            October 4, 2022 at 12:27 pm

            No revenge investigations will be launched. That is retaliation and malicious use of law enforcement. They will be jailed…

          • Tom

            October 4, 2022 at 10:45 pm

            Yeah right!
            Multiple impeachment’s coming as outlined above.
            In addition wait til Schiff, Raskin, Lofgren, and other dum Dems get expelled by new majority.
            LMAO, such idiocy from Joey soros Corsin. Enjoy the impeachment’s and expulsions.

Comments are closed.


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