Florida is paying $950,000 to the same company linked to migrant flights

Democratic and local leaders have criticized the governor for using people as political pawns by flying them to Martha’s Vineyard.

BRADENTON, Fla. – Just days after two planes carrying migrants arrived in Martha’s Vineyard on orders from Gov. Ron DeSantis, state records show another payment was made to the same Oregon-based air carrier.

DeSantis, speaking during a Tuesday afternoon news briefing, could not confirm whether the funds will be used for additional flights out of Florida, but he previously said there are plans to move more migrants to “sanctuary cities” in light of what he calls the failed border policy of the Biden administration.

Six days before the Martha’s Vineyard flights, a payment of $615,000 was made to Vertol Systems Company Inc. according to the government website. Updated records show that an additional payment of $950,000 was made to the company on September 19.

In total, more than $1.5 million was paid.

DeSantis said, “We don’t see a mass movement of [migrants] to Florida.” Instead, the state is using “intelligence agencies” to identify people entering the United States who want to come to Florida and redirecting them to “sanctuary cities.”

“We need to figure out, ‘OK, who are these people likely to be,’ and if you can do it at the source and redirect to places of refuge, there’s a much lower chance they’ll end up in Florida,” the governor said.

“…[The migrant relocation program] made more impact than anyone thought possible,” continued DeSantis, hinting at more transports. “Ultimately, what we’re doing isn’t the ultimate solution — I think it opens people’s eyes to the solution, which is, ‘Let’s have a safe border…’

The funding is part of a portion of the latest state budget that is included $12 million to set up a program within the Department of Transportation to “facilitate the transportation” of undocumented people from Florida.

DeSantis last week defended his decision to fly migrants to Martha’s Vineyard, saying they may be “inclined to think Florida is a good place” to go.

“…Our message to them is that we’re not a haven state and it’s better to be able to go to a haven jurisdiction, and yes, we’re going to help you facilitate that transportation so you can go to greener pastures,” DeSantis said and answered a reporter’s question.

The governor’s response comes as Florida Democrats work to stop DeSantis transporting migrants to other states.

“The claim that these people could wanted to come to Florida is not a sufficient reason to intercept, deceive and transport asylum seekers two thousand miles,” Florida House Representatives Evan Jenne and Fentrice Driskell wrote in a letter to Republican state leaders.

“That’s why we ask you to stop this inappropriate use of taxpayers’ money before it happens again.”

Two flights landed in Martha’s Vineyard last Wednesday afternoon, both of which originated from San Antonio, according to the flight tracking site FlightAware. Both made stops at Crestview’s Bob Sikes Airport, located in the Florida Panhandle – they waited 43 minutes and 45 minutes, respectively – before making another stop in the Carolinas and reaching Massachusetts.

one of these planes, the flight tracking page shows is scheduled to fly from San Antonio to Crestview, Fla. on Tuesday before heading to Deleware and Teterboro, New Jersey.

Office of the Governor of Delaware and community groups mobilize to allow migrants to land in state according to Delaware Online.

https://www.kvue.com/article/news/politics/national-politics/florida-migrant-flights-delaware-payment/67-cf0dd2e9-b523-4f7f-857a-b47274e23e07 Florida is paying $950,000 to the same company linked to migrant flights

Laura Coffey

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