DeSantis says migrant flights ‘opening people’s eyes’ to secure border as another payment made

Officials in Delaware are preparing for the possibility of migrants arriving Tuesday, according to the outlet Delaware Online.

BRADENTON, Fla. — Just days after two planes carrying migrants arrived at Martha’s Vineyard at Gov. Ron DeSantis’ direction, state records show another payment has been made to the same Oregon-based aviation company.

The governor’s office has not confirmed whether the funds will be used for additional flights out of Florida, but DeSantis has said previously that there are plans in place to move more migrants to “sanctuary cities.”

DeSantis is scheduled to speak during a news conference with the state economic secretary at 12:30 p.m. in Bradenton. 10 Tampa Bay will live stream the event.

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

In total, more than $1.5 million has been paid.

The funding is part of a portion of the state’s latest budget that included $12 million to establish a program within the Department of Transportation to “facilitate the transport” of undocumented persons out of Florida. 

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

“…Our message to them is we are not a sanctuary state, and it’s better to be able to go to a sanctuary jurisdiction and, yes, we will help facilitate that transport for you to be able to go to greener pastures,” said DeSantis, responding to a reporter’s question.

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

One of those planes, the flight tracking site shows, is scheduled to fly Tuesday from San Antonio to Crestview, Florida, before heading to Deleware and Teterboro, New Jersey.

The Delaware governor’s office and community groups are mobilizing for the possibility of migrants landing in the state, according to Delaware Online.

This is a developing story. Check back for updates.


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