Gov. DeSantis defends sending migrant flight to California

Desantis Arizona
'These sanctuary jurisdictions are part of the reason we have this problem.'

In Arizona, Florida’s Governor defended the recent decision to send a flight full of undocumented immigrants from Texas to California.

“So here’s the thing, these sanctuary jurisdictions are part of the reason we have this problem because they have endorsed and agitated for these types of open border policies,” Gov. Ron DeSantis said in Sierra Vista.

“They have bragged that they are sanctuary jurisdictions. They attack the previous administration’s efforts to try to have border security. And so that’s the policies they’ve taken out and then when they have to deal with the fruits of that, they all of a sudden become very, very upset about that.”

For his part, Gov. Gavin Newsom believes there is grounds for legal action, calling DeSantis a “small, pathetic man.”

“This isn’t Martha’s Vineyard,” the California Governor tweeted, referring to a previous migrant flight paid for by Florida taxpayers. “Kidnapping charges?”

DeSantis blames California and other sanctuary jurisdictions for offering sweet deals to undocumented immigrants.

“A place like California, they give benefits, they give unemployment checks, they do all that. And so you can see why some of those folks were interested in going that direction in Florida,” DeSantis said. “We’ve gone the opposite way.”

“You know, we say we have a legal workforce, we’re not going to have benefits, we’re not going to do that and basically trying to disincentivize it,” he continued. “Other states have tried to incentivize it. And so I think they should be the ones to pay to do it.”

California Attorney General Rob Bonta, who is reportedly probing the matter of whether migrants were lured onto these flights under false pretenses, called the action “disgusting and morally bankrupt.”

DeSantis preferred to address fiscal bankruptcy in his comments.

“Look, I get California, they have a big budget deficit, we have a big budget surplus and so we have an ability to do things like support police and help out Texas because we have a good managed state,” DeSantis said.

The Governor also noted the Florida Legislature gave him budgetary authority to continue these migrant flights, which have been part of his messaging as much as his strategy in recent months. As a 2024 candidate, DeSantis has turned last year’s flights to Martha’s Vineyard into a Primary-state crowd-pleasing line.

A.G. Gancarski

A.G. Gancarski has been the Northeast Florida correspondent for Florida Politics since 2014. He writes for the New York Post and National Review also, with previous work in the American Conservative and Washington Times and a 15+ year run as a columnist in Folio Weekly. He can be reached at [email protected] or on Twitter: @AGGancarski


  • John Lentini

    June 7, 2023 at 4:00 pm

    Since when does it fall to me as a Florida taxpayer to fund the travel of South Americans from Texas to California? DeSantis broke California law and I hope they prosecute him for kidnapping.

    • Minerva Vayos

      June 7, 2023 at 5:48 pm

      Someone needs to stop this simple minded man. He needs to be prosecuted for his actions

  • Michael K

    June 7, 2023 at 4:11 pm

    No. The reason there is a problem is because Congress has refused to do its’ job. To Marco Rubio’s credit – several years ago, there was a serious effort at bi-partisan immigration reform – but Republicans refuse to address the real issues, preferring stunts like the one DeSantis is performing. And no, building a wall does not address the issue.

    This is expensive performance art that treats human beings like cattle.

    And by the way, the “surge” has not materialized after the lapse of Title 42.

  • Charlie

    June 7, 2023 at 4:14 pm

    Florida has a surplus because DeSantis refused to spend the money on covid-19, perhaps contributing to the deaths of over 60,000 Floridians. How much of Florida’s taxpayer dollars have been spent on defurer’s national publicity campaign that should be reimbursed from his campaign funds? Rhonda is not fit to be a dog catcher let alone governor or President.

    • MH/Duuuval

      June 7, 2023 at 5:55 pm

      The current count for deaths in Florida due to COVID is 90,000. There were thousands more deaths from COVID in Florida, but DeSantis excluded deaths of tourists, snowbirds, or anyone passing through.

  • tom palmer

    June 7, 2023 at 4:14 pm

    rant rave rant rave; politics as usual in Florida

  • PeterH

    June 7, 2023 at 4:21 pm

    “The problem” Ron stems from Congress’s inability to pass meaningful immigration legislation. YOU WERE A MEMBER OF CONGRESS FOR YEARS …… and accomplished nothing to solve the border quagmire.

    Republicans are America’s biggest problem!

    Vote all Republicans out of office.

  • Earl Pitts American

    June 7, 2023 at 4:47 pm

    Good afternoon America,
    America’s Govornor sticking it to the lefty’s. Gotta love it.
    Quite entertaining watching those dook 4 brains lefties sqeeling like the stuck pigs they are.
    Best of all this is just the begining of the dook 4 brains lefty’s non-stop sqeeling leading up to our great RED Wave in 2024.
    Earl Pitts American annoucement:
    DOOK 4 BRAINS LEFTY’S PREPARE YOURSELVES FOR CONSTANT SQUEELING UNTIL EARLY JANUARY 2024 then you all will start 8 YEARS of screaming at the sky and crying.
    Thank you America,
    Earl Pitts American

  • Darren M

    June 7, 2023 at 7:07 pm

    Go DeSantis. We we support you 100%. It’s time the sanctuary enablers.put their money where their mouth is just like DeSantis is doing. Politicians that actually do what they say – we need more like DeSantis.

  • Alejandro Rojas

    June 7, 2023 at 8:41 pm

    Gov. Ron DeSantis has actively campaigned for election deniers, embraced divide-and-rule politics, and enacted extreme policies that gut fundamental freedoms enshrined in Florida’s and the US Constitution. These policies are grounded in racial targeting and resentment, misogyny, homophobia, and the punishment of his opponents including business, using state power, and coming straight from the fascist authoritarian playbook. Unfortunately this has spread from DeSantis to other state legislatures across the country. These attacks on fundamental rights and freedoms are likely to accelerate.

    These theatrical flights to remove immigrants from other states costs Florida taxpayers millions of dollars, and highlights both the human and economic cost of these draconian policies. DeSantis should be condemed for his inciteful polarizing propaganda, denigrating Florida’s Hispanic immigrants and sacrificing Florida’s taxpayers solely for the sake of ginning up his presidential ambitions.

    DeSantis’ authoritarianism, much like what we see today in Poland, Hungary, Brazil and Nicaragua, clearly represents a threat to American democracy.

  • Carl Auto

    June 8, 2023 at 1:10 am

    Maybe California and NY should send American citizen’s convicted of violent crimes to Florida in exchange when they are released.

Comments are closed.


Florida Politics is a statewide, new media platform covering campaigns, elections, government, policy, and lobbying in Florida. This platform and all of its content are owned by Extensive Enterprises Media.

Publisher: Peter Schorsch @PeterSchorschFL

Contributors & reporters: Phil Ammann, Drew Dixon, Roseanne Dunkelberger, A.G. Gancarski, Anne Geggis, Ryan Nicol, Jacob Ogles, Cole Pepper, Gray Rohrer, Jesse Scheckner, Christine Sexton, Drew Wilson, and Mike Wright.

Email: [email protected]
Twitter: @PeterSchorschFL
Phone: (727) 642-3162
Address: 204 37th Avenue North #182
St. Petersburg, Florida 33704