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Florida governor linked to immigrant flights to California

On Behalf of | Jun 14, 2023 | Blog, Immigration Policies |

California Attorney General Rob Bonta has announced that an investigation has been launched to determine whether or not Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis organized a flight on June 6 that transported approximately 20 undocumented asylum seekers from a border town in Texas to Sacramento. DeSantis attracted media attention in 2022 when he arranged for 49 undocumented immigrants to be transported to Martha’s Vineyard. When California Gov. Gavin Newsom was told about the flight, he referred to DeSantis as a “small, pathetic man” and suggested that state prosecutors could pursue kidnapping charges.

Signature policy

Republican presidential hopeful DeSantis has been a fierce critic of President Joe Biden’s immigration policy, and he has made transporting asylum seekers to sanctuary cities and Democrat controlled areas one of his signature political policies. The DeSantis administration has not responded to questions about two private jet flights that transported asylum seekers from border areas to California in early June, but documents the immigrants carried with them were issued by the state of Florida. The documents also suggest the California charters were handled by the same company that operated the flight to Martha’s Vineyard.

Lured onto flights

According to state officials, the three dozen or so mostly Venezuelan or Cuban immigrants never set foot in Florida. Instead, officials claim that they were approached in El Paso and “lured” onto flights that would take them to California where they were told jobs would be waiting for them. DeSantis took steps to protect his administration from possible lawsuits and criminal investigations in 2022 when he backed a bill that authorizes Florida to transport undocumented immigrants from any part of the country.

Congress created the problem

Undocumented immigrants are being lured onto flights and state governors are becoming embroiled in feuds because lawmakers in the nation’s capital have failed to pass a comprehensive immigration reform bill. Until such a law is passed, the situation at the southern border will remain a pressing issue and the millions of undocumented immigrants currently living and working in the United States will be denied a path to residency or citizenship.


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