DeSantis Threatens to Send Migrants Flown Into Florida to Biden's Home State of Delaware
02:11 GMT 11.11.2021 (Updated: 16:18 GMT 08.12.2022)
Earlier this week, the Sunshine State's governor's office claimed that over 70 night-time plane flights carrying illegal migrants from the US southern border had arrived in Jacksonville, Florida, since the summer.
Florida Governor Ron DeSantis has threatened legal action after his administration stated that the federal government flew migrants from the US-Mexico border to his state, and, acknowledging that legal action may be limited due to the powers of the federal authorities over airspace, proposed to send migrants by bus to President Joe Biden's home state of Delaware.
After going public with the claim this weekend, Republican DeSantis said during a news conference on Wednesday that his office is looking into all legal options.
“We’re going to get together and figure out what we can do in the immediate term to protect folks in Florida,” DeSantis said.
However, he figured that "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."
"If they’re going to come here, we’ll provide buses. [...] I will send them to Delaware. If he’s not gonna support the border being secure, then he should be able to have everyone there."
According to The New York Post,
DeSantis' press secretary, Christina Pushaw, admitted that while the governor's mention of Delaware was a joke about Biden's home state, his plan to deport the migrants from his own state is serious.
"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 is quoted as saying.
Pushaw reportedly said that she would not be surprised if legislation to address the issue is offered during the Florida Legislature's next regular session.
7 November 2021, 02:25 GMT
The statements emerged after an undocumented 24-year-old Honduran immigrant was detained and accused of posing as a 17-year-old under a false name and murdering a Jacksonville man who offered him a job last month.
"The big question is, how many more people can get through and what are the holes in this vetting process?" Pushaw added. "The Biden administration has not shared any information with us regarding how that vetting takes place."
The governor told reporters at the Wednesday presser that his office only learned of the planes through complaints 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,” DeSantis explained. "It was people in the federal government who were effectively leaking this to us so that we have a heads up on it."