NewsSarasota, Manatee County


DeSantis defends migrant relocation, says he cannot confirm more migrant flights headed to Delaware

Posted at 4:03 PM, Sep 20, 2022
and last updated 2022-09-21 09:05:51-04

BRADENTON, Fla. — A Sheriff in Texas has opened an investigation into two flights of migrants sent to Martha's Vineyard in Massachusetts by Florida Governor Ron DeSantis.

Bexar County Sheriff Javier Salazar insists the migrants were lured under false pretenses, promised work in a hotel, but instead shuttled to an airport and dropped in Massachusetts. He said it was all to make a political point.

“It doesn't matter how you look at it. It's enraging. I believe there's some criminal activity involved here,” Sheriff Salazar said during a press conference.

For his part, Governor Ron DeSantis continued to defend his actions. During a press conference on various tax breaks on Tuesday, he instead blamed President Joe Biden’s open border policies for creating a nationwide crisis.

“Those migrants were being treated horribly by Biden. They were hungry, homeless, had no opportunity at all. The State of Florida offered volunteer transport to sanctuary jurisdictions because it’s our view that the border should be secured and if you believe in open borders then it’s the sanctuary jurisdictions that should bear the brunt of open borders,” DeSantis said while addressing a crowd at the Anna Maria Oyster Bar Landside location in Bradenton.

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Desantis said he felt he’s accomplished something important: Opening up American eyes to the border crisis.

“If 50 migrants was a burden on one of the richest places in our country, what about all these other communities that have been overrun with hundreds of thousands?” he questioned.

DeSantis added that the flights he chartered for migrants to be transported to Martha’s vineyard were “clearly voluntary.”

“If you can do it at the source and divert to sanctuary jurisdictions the chance they end up in Florida is much less,” he elaborated.

Sheriff Salazar disagreed with DeSantis’ stance.

“They (the migrants) had a right to not be preyed upon and played for a fool and transported halfway across the country just for the sake of a media event for a video opportunity,” he explained.

Members of the news media asked DeSantis about word of potential flights of migrants that could be headed to Delaware, but he said he cannot confirm if those flights are indeed happening.