DeSantis threatens action over secret migrant flights

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DeSantis threatens action over secret migrant flights

Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis is threatening legal action after his administration claimed that the federal government sent 70 planes carrying young migrants to Jacksonville from the US-Mexico border region under cover of darkness this summer.

At a news conference Wednesday, the Republican DeSantis said that his office is looking at all legal avenues of recourse after going public with their allegation this weekend.

“We’re going to get together and figure out what we can do in the immediate term to protect folks in Florida,” DeSantis told reporters.

The governor acknowledged his options are limited because the federal government exercises control over airspace and immigration. But, he reasoned, “if they’re not doing that, then clearly the state should be able to come in and provide protections, and so that’s what we’re going to be looking to do.”

DeSantis also suggested the state should buy bus tickets to send the migrants elsewhere.

“If they’re going to come here, we’ll provide buses,” DeSantis said, adding, “I will send them to Delaware.”

A plane Houston dropping off migrants in Jacksonville, Florida.
An Avelo Airline charter plane from Houston, Tex. dropping off migrants in Jacksonville, Florida.
David Rosenblum for NY Post

Christina Pushaw, the governor’s press secretary, told The Post that while DeSantis’ Delaware mention was a tongue-in-cheek reference to President Biden’s home state, the governor’s idea to send the migrants away from Florida is not a joke.

“To the extent that the federal government is paying for them to go all over the country and resettling them in Jacksonville, would it be against the law for us to send them somewhere else? … That’s something that I think we would want to look into,” Pushaw said.

DeSantis' administration claimed that 70 planes with migrants were flown into Florida.
DeSantis’ administration claimed that 70 planes with migrants were flown into Florida.
David Rosenblum for NY Post

Pushaw added she would not be surprised if legislation to address the matter is proposed during the next regular session of the Florida Legislature.

The claims came shortly after a 24-year-old undocumented immigrant from Honduras was arrested and accused of posing as a 17-year-old under a fake name and killing a Jacksonville man who gave him a job last month.

The victim’s daughter said she believed the murder suspect arrived in Jacksonville on one of those flights referenced by DeSantis.

Yery Noel Medina Ulloa, an illegal Honduran immigrant charged with murder in Florida.
Yery Noel Medina Ulloa, an illegal Honduran immigrant charged with murder in Florida.
Jacksonville Sheriff’s Office

“The big question is, how many more people can get through and what are the holes in this vetting process?” Pushaw said. “The Biden administration has not shared any information with us regarding how that vetting takes place.”

DeSantis has said his office only learned of the flights through reports from local police and leaks from officials in the federal government.”

“I know when we initially got wind of this it wasn’t through normal channels,” the governor claimed. “It was people in the federal government who were effectively leaking this to us so that we have a heads up on it.”

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