California Attorney General says Florida responsible for flying migrants to Sacramento
California Attorney General Rob Banta. Image via AP.

Rob Banta
Florida's Department of Emergency Management flew 16 Colombian and Venezuelan migrants to Sacramento.

California Attorney General Rob Bonta said the state of Florida appears to have arranged for a group of South American migrants to be dropped off outside a Sacramento church.

“While this is still under investigation, we can confirm these individuals were in possession of documentation purporting to be from the government of the State of Florida,” Bonta said in a statement.

The documents said the migrants were transported through a program run by Florida’s Division of Emergency Management and carried out by contractor Vertol Systems Co., said Tara Gallegos, a spokesperson for Bonta. Florida paid the same contractor $1.56 million last year to fly migrants from Texas to Martha’s Vineyard, Massachusetts, and for a possible second flight to Delaware that never took place.

The 16 migrants who arrived in Sacramento on Friday are from Colombia and Venezuela. They entered the U.S. through Texas. They were transported to New Mexico then flown by a charter plane to California’s capital, where they were then dropped off in front of the Roman Catholic Diocese of Sacramento, California officials said.

They were approached outside a migrant center in El Paso, Texas, by people who offered them jobs and travel assistance, said Eddie Carmona of PICO California, a faith-based group helping the migrants. They did not know they were being taken to Sacramento and arrived with few belongings, he said.

Vertol Systems Co. and the Florida Division of Emergency Management did not immediately respond Sunday to emails seeking comment.

Bonta said he is evaluating whether violations of civil or criminal law took place.

“While we continue to collect evidence, I want to say this very clearly: State-sanctioned kidnapping is not a public policy choice, it is immoral and disgusting,” Bonta said in a statement.


Republished with permission of The Associated Press.

Associated Press


  • Ocean Joe

    June 5, 2023 at 6:28 am

    Sick, childish, cruel, reckless.
    This is being done in the name of all Florida citizens. We are one plane crash away from the mother of all lawsuits.

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  • David Torgerson

    June 5, 2023 at 7:16 am

    So why is Florida paying for, and once again lying to immigrants in order to transport them from Texas to some unknown destination?

    • Suzan

      June 5, 2023 at 8:52 am

      More DeSantis political theatre, which has directed every act or decision he’s made over the past 2.5 years. You know how thin skinned this man is. He’s upset faith leaders spoke out against his latest anti migrant law.

  • Suze

    June 5, 2023 at 7:22 am

    Put DeathSantis in a cell right next to Trump. Both are immoral sociopaths. These are human beings.

  • Michael K

    June 5, 2023 at 8:03 am

    Anyone keeping tabs on the costs of the extravagant wastefulness of taxpayer dollars to feed the failing presidential aspirations of this governor? There’s also an enormous toll on human decency and fundamental human rights.

    Florida’s governor is not a leader, he’s a wrecking ball driven racism, xenophobia, homophobia, fear, cowardice and hate. Shame on the Republican legislators for kowtowing to this petulant authoritarian bully.

    If DeSantis were honestly concerned about immigration, he would hold our US Congressional reps accountable for bi partisan immigration reform. However, just as with every other issue, the governor is not interested in solutions, only perfoances that give him a headline.

    He’s a very sick man with no moral compass.

    • Suzan

      June 5, 2023 at 8:58 am

      Great comment. He is incapable of interacting with the media or with private citizens who question him. Constantly angry, defensive and belittling. Remember a year ago when Max Frost, a young man, questioned DeSantis about gun violence and DeSantis told him “no one wants to hear from you” and had him kicked out? 5 months later Frost was elected to Congress. How could he possibly deal with world leaders?

      • Dont Say FLA

        June 8, 2023 at 12:08 pm

        No need to be alarmed. Casey would tell Ron how to deal with world leaders. LOL

        And no, nobody’s keeping tabs on the bills to State of Florida for Ron’s Big Adventure. Sunshine State’s sunshine laws were changed just to exempt from open records any and all finances having anything to do with Ron DeSantis and his campaign. The state treasury is Ron’s to plunder behind closed doors and blackout curtains.

  • Terri

    June 5, 2023 at 9:11 am

    Where does he get off funding this bull s*** with Florida taxpayers’ dollars. I hope he is brought to court for his irresponsible behavior. It’s not Florida’s place to push DeSantis’s beliefs on another state. It should not be the responsibility for Florida taxpayers to foot the bill for his antics.

  • Linda

    June 5, 2023 at 9:21 am

    He had better stop posing as a Christian. His hypocrisy is alarming.

  • Richard Bruce

    June 5, 2023 at 9:53 am

    Good for Florida. It’s a whole lot cheaper to fly illegals somewhere else than support them locally. Chartering a fleet of airplanes to fly everyday will still be much cheaper than paying for unearned benefits. Wish all illegals would be sent to Wash DC. Fed Gov’t created the problem, they should have to live with it.

    • Michael K

      June 5, 2023 at 10:41 am

      Your ignorance is astounding. Immigrants do the jobs that no Americans seem to want to do. If you think people are willing to walk more than a thousand miles to escape authoritarian regimes, violence and economic ruin just for a “handout,” you are woefully out of touch, and clearly never met the people who pick the produce you eat, slaughter the animals you consume in horrid conditions, and work outside in the sweltering heat.

      If you think chartering jets to ship a handful of people like cattle, and willfully eceive desperate people with promises that are lies, you obviously haven’t studied economics, let alone moral values. You should ask Rubio and Scott why they refuse to lift a finger. Republicans would rather feed the ignorance of the base more lies than address the issue.

    • Governors Salary

      June 8, 2023 at 12:11 pm

      Unearned benefits, such as Ron DeSantis salary? and all the money from State of Florida’s treasury that’s paying for his campaign and its stunts? Did you know illegal immigration is down 70% since Trump’s rules expired? Chew on that, “Richard.”

  • Joe

    June 5, 2023 at 1:59 pm

    Congratulations on wasting everyone’s time and many people’s money for yet another pointless culture-war stunt, Florida GQP.

  • Dont Say FLA

    June 5, 2023 at 5:11 pm

    Rhonda and his choir, Florida state GOP, outlawed transporting humans that lack documentation from jurisdictionally relevant authorities approving their existence in spacetime. Rhonda must arrest himself immediately immediately immediately!

Comments are closed.


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