Florida has accepted responsibility for two migrant flights that took 36 people to Sacramento, California. This act was confirmed by the Florida Division of Emergency Management (FDEM), which described the process as a “voluntary relocation.” According to FDEM, the immigrants had expressed their desire to travel to California through verbal and written consent.
The first flight took place last week, and transported 16 migrants from Venezuela and Colombia who were waiting in El Paso, Texas, for their immigration process. The trip included a stop in New Mexico before arriving in Sacramento. According to reports, the migrants were provided with documents in English and Spanish, but not all signed them, and some claimed they did not know where they were going until they landed in California.
Upon arrival in Sacramento, the migrants were left with few belongings in front of the Sacramento diocese. According to their testimonies, they were promised that they would be taken to a center where they would receive help and job opportunities.
This event marks Florida’s first public acknowledgement of the migrant flights. Governor Ron DeSantis had remained silent on the issue since the arrival of the first flight, and made no mention of it at a recent press conference.
The situation has escalated tensions between California Governor Gavin Newsom and DeSantis. Newsom has announced an investigation into the matter in collaboration with his state’s Attorney General, as they suspect Florida is behind these new migrant shipments. This follows a similar incident in 2022, when DeSantis funded the flight of nearly 50 Venezuelan migrants from San Antonio, Texas, to Martha’s Vineyard, Massachusetts.
The political and humanitarian implications of this situation are clear and open up numerous questions about the ethics and legality of such actions. In the coming days, we will be following this story closely as it develops and will provide further updates as they become available.