Florida spent nearly $1 million on two more immigration flights

Tallahassee, Fla. (AP) — The state of Florida will arrange two sets of flights to transport about 100 immigrants who entered the states illegally in Delaware and Illinois, according to a Florida Department of Transportation document released on Friday. I paid almost $1 million for it.

The flight follows the Sept. 14 flight from Texas to Martha’s Vineyard that carried 49 primarily Venezuelan immigrants to Massachusetts, where former President Barack Obama has a mansion. Local authorities were not informed in advance of the immigrants’ arrival.

Gov. Ron DeSantis claimed responsibility for the flight as part of a campaign to draw attention to what he called the Biden administration’s failed border policies. The tactic was to send immigrants to the Democratic Party’s strongholds.

Two additional sets of flights, originally scheduled before October 3, have apparently been canceled or postponed. A contractor hired by the state of Florida has since extended the trip until December 1, according to a memo released by the Department of Transportation.

The Vertol Systems Company of Destin, Florida, was hired to arrange the flight and dispatched an employee to Tallahassee, the state capital, to receive a hard copy of the check for $950,000. This is because the state has not received documentation for direct deposits into company accounts. , according to the documentation.

Vertol owner James Montgomerie did not respond to calls and emails seeking comment on the flight plan. DeSantis’ office did not immediately respond to an email seeking comment.

Earlier this year, Congress approved a $12 million budget item to illegally move people from Florida to another location in the country. This money was derived from interest earned on federal funds given to Florida under the American Relief Plan. The immigrant flight departed from Texas, but their charter plane stopped in Florida. DeSantis says the purpose of immigration was to come to Florida.

Documents released Friday reveal details about how migrants were recruited for the Martha Vineyard flight in San Antonio and who was hired to conduct some of the operations. not been to

Also on Friday, Texas sheriffs identified 49 immigrants who flew over Martha’s Vineyard last month as victims of crime, allowing them to apply for special visas to stay in the United States. The sheriff said an investigation had been launched.

The Martha’s Vineyard flight also sparked a lawsuit accusing the state of Florida of lying to immigrants to get them to agree to the flight. Florida spent nearly $1 million on two more immigration flights

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