Florida Governor Ron DeSantis has broken his silence on funding migrant flights from Texas to Sacramento, arguing that states like California and New York should bear the brunt of “open borders”.
On Tuesday, his administration admitted to helping ferry migrants to Sacramento from Texas, releasing footage of the migrants being transported in a private jet.
Speaking during a trip to the southern border on Wednesday, the presidential hopeful said he would continue to support states that do not provide refuge for migrants.
DeSantis said, “If there’s a policy to have an open border, then I think the sanctuary jurisdictions should be the ones that have to put up with that.”
“We’re not a sanctuary in Florida, we know people want to come and so the more we can turn away before we even have to get there, it’s good for our state.
Governor DeSantis, pictured here last week, said he would continue to support states that do not provide refuge for migrants.
Migrants of various nationalities rest in a temporary camp, in Tapachula, Chiapas, Mexico, May 22, 2023
He continued, “California, they have a big budget deficit and we have a big budget surplus and so we have the ability to do things like support the police and help Texas.
“If a sheriff asks for our support in Texas, we see that as an American problem, we don’t see it just as a Texas problem, we will send resources to Texas to do it if they want transportation. We want to be useful for that.
The Florida Division of Emergency Management released footage of the migrants being transported on a private jet, listening to music, signing waivers and appearing to be having fun.
“We’ve arrived in California,” one suspected migrant said in a selfie video that revealed behind him the de Havilland turboprop plane he and the others arrived on.
“Thank God, very grateful to God,” he said in Spanish as he stood on the tarmac at Sacramento Executive Airport.
In an accompanying statement, Alecia Collins, the department’s communications director, said the move was consensual. “As you can see in this video, voluntary relocation from Florida is precisely that – voluntary,” she wrote.
It is unclear who took the videos and photos, but some appear to have been captured by the alleged migrants themselves.
None of the people shown in the video have been identified and the video was without any description.
Other parts show the suspected migrants cheering from the back of a bus, singing along to music and showing peace signs with their hands.
In one segment of the video, a man records himself disembarking from a plane and giving thanks to God as he stands on the tarmac at what appears to be Sacramento Executive Airport.
In a statement accompanying the footage, a Florida Division of Emergency Management spokesperson said the relocation was voluntary.
California officials said on Tuesday that the transport of migrants was facilitated by Vertol Systems Company
At one point, as they appear to be gathering in a briefing room, they are asked in Spanish, “At any time, did you feel like you were treated badly?”
“No, they treated us very well,” one person replied.
The Florida governor’s transport of about three dozen migrants to California is the latest step in which asylum seekers who entered through the southern border have been moved north to Democratic-run “sanctuary cities.”
California, which is a sanctuary state, is investigating a “state-sanctioned kidnapping” after the 16 migrants were dropped off at the door of a Sacramento church without “prior warning”.
California officials said on Tuesday that the transport of migrants was facilitated by Vertol Systems Company, a private company that also organized the planes of Venezuelan migrants from San Antonio to Martha’s Vineyard last year.
More than a dozen Venezuelan and Colombian migrants who entered the United States via Texas were flown by private plane to Sacramento, Calif., and left outside the Roman Catholic Diocese of Sacramento, pictured
California Governor Newsom tweeted at Ron DeSantis on Monday saying ‘you pathetic little man’
The migrants, mostly from Venezuela but also from Colombia, arrived in Sacramento, the Californian capital, on two flights – the first carrying 16 on Friday and another on Monday carrying 20.
California Governor Gavin Newsom attacked DeSantis on Monday, calling him a “pathetic little man” and threatening on Twitter to bring kidnapping charges against his administration.
He said he was working with the California Department of Justice to establish if there was something criminal in the orchestration of the robberies.
In Tuesday’s statement, Florida’s Division of Emergency Management suggested the criticism from California officials was unfair.
“From the left-leaning mayors of El Paso, Texas and Denver, Colorado, the relocation of those who cross the US border illegally is nothing new,” the statement read.
“But suddenly when Florida sends illegal aliens to a sanctuary city, it’s fake imprisonment and kidnapping.”