Gov. DeSantis hands off big piece of Haiti rescue mission to State Department
TALLAHASSEE, FLA. 3/8/24-Gov. Ron DeSantis talks about the close of the 2024 Legislative Session during a news conference, Friday at the Capitol in Tallahassee. COLIN HACKLEY PHOTO

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Evacuees can look forward to a 'federally coordinated flight home.'

Teamwork makes the dream work when it comes to the ongoing mission to bring Floridians back from a Caribbean country in crisis.

Ron DeSantis’ press shop is announcing that the federal government will be assuming a greater role in a Haiti mission ballyhooed by the Florida Governor in recent weeks, with old complaints that Washington isn’t helping out enough mostly (but not totally) in the rearview mirror.

The Division of Emergency Management “provided the U.S. Department of State with Florida’s completed Haiti Assistance forms, so other Americans could be connected with a federally coordinated flight home,” announced the Governor’s Office.

The media release fleshes out comments DeSantis recently made.

“Now you have more State Department involvement in that and, which is really how it should be, right? I mean, it’s odd, it’s not the norm to have a state going into Israel … or going into Haiti (and bringing back) its citizens,” he said during a Monday press conference in Miami.

DeSantis added that “if there are going to be big State Department flights, that hopefully will take care of most of the remainder,” though he also contended Florida “stepped up and filled the void” of federal inaction.

Florida taxpayers have paid thus far to retrieve 220 Americans from Haiti. The Governor’s Office says 95% of them are Floridians, suggesting that the money was spent by and large on residents, though there has been nothing approaching disclosure yet regarding the operation’s hard costs to retrieve “Christian missionary groups” from Haiti.

As we have noted repeatedly, the Israel evacuation flights last year cost Florida taxpayers $19 million, as the Tallahassee Democrat reported.

And despite the seeming handoff of much of the operation, DeSantis’ comments Tuesday continue to suggest defiance of the sort that plays well in friendly interviews.

“Even when the federal government fails to act, Florida will always step up,” the Governor said.

It’s worth noting also that Florida-funded evacuees got a better deal than those on federal flights, who will be “stuck with the bill.”

“Our mission is not something that we’re charging these people for. I think the federal government has done some, they’re charging people just like they did out of Israel,” DeSantis said last month. “That’s not what we’re doing.”

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


4 comments

  • Beth

    April 2, 2024 at 11:28 am

    DeSantis cannot stop displaying again and again what a despicable sorry excuse for a human he is. We booted the spoiled baby out of his ridiculous presidential bid just wish he would take a hint and get out of politics forever.

    Reply

  • PeterH

    April 2, 2024 at 1:11 pm

    Political stunt while trying to stay relevant on the national stage! While Republicans refuse to pass meaningful legislation to enable Biden to address immigration on our Southern border, Fox is now reporting that House Republicans will offer a bill to change Dulles Airport’s name to Trump airport! Republicans certainly do understand what is important to the American people!

    Republicans are America’s biggest problem!

    Vote all Republicans out of office!

    Reply

  • MH/Duuuval

    April 3, 2024 at 11:07 am

    The Martha’s Vineyard ploy by Dee is now in court and already Dee is losing since his crack team of insiders gave asylum seekers in Texas (not Florida!) bad information about what to expect in Mass.

    Reply

    • MH/Duuuval

      April 4, 2024 at 11:57 am

      The federal judge has let Dee off the hook and is putting the onus on the airplane rental company. Ask if this stunt was conceived of and paid for by the latter and not the former.

      Reply

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