TAMPA, Fla. (WFLA) — Florida’s Department of Emergency Management Tuesday afternoon confirmed its involvement in the so-called “voluntary relocation” of volunteers who “had indicated a desire to go to California” after two flights carrying migrants arrived in Sacramento in the past few days were week.
The department released a statement that included a link to a video containing photos and footage of people signing documents, boarding a plane and commenting on their arrival in California and their experiences on their trip to the United States
Details about the photos and videos are unclear, such as when and where the pictures were taken, who produced them and who the people in the pictures are.
“As you can see in this video, Florida’s voluntary relocation is just that — voluntary,” said Amelia Johnson, deputy director of communications for the Florida Division of Emergency Management, in a statement.
“Through verbal and written consent, these volunteers indicated that they wanted to go to California. A contractor was present and ensured their safe passage to an outside NGO. The specific NGO, Catholic Charities, is employed and funded by the federal government,” the statement continued.
Two separate flights carrying migrants arrived in Sacramento on June 2 and 5. Since then, they have received housing and services from local government and community groups.
Representatives of these groups said the migrants said they didn’t know where they were going when approached by people at the El Paso shelters who said they were taking them elsewhere.
California Gov. Gavin Newsom and Attorney General Rob Bonta have previously said those flights were organized by Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis’ office and that they would investigate whether crimes were committed in the relocation of the migrants.