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Florida seeks to expand the questioned program of migrant flights to Democratic states


The program that Governor Ron DeSantis seeks to expand was already used in 2022 to transport a group of migrants from Texas to Martha's Vineyard (Massachusetts), in a controversial operation whose legality is being investigated. Florida has complained for weeks about the massive arrival of migrant boats in its Keys.

By Zoë Richards -

NBC News

Florida Governor Ron DeSantis, a Republican, is expected to take advantage of a special legislative session next week to promote the expansion of a controversial program that was used in 2022 to transport dozens of migrants from Texas to the island of Martha's Vineyard (Massachusetts). ).

State legislators will consider a bill that seeks to create an

'Unauthorized Alien Transportation Program'

as part of DeSantis' efforts "to respond to the influx of immigrants arriving in the Florida Keys," according to a pair of memos issued by legislative leaders to members of the state House of Representatives and Senate.

The special session, which begins Monday, comes weeks after hundreds of Cuban and Haitian immigrants arrived in the Florida Keys, many in makeshift boats, after traversing the dangerous waters of the Caribbean.

[The heartbreaking testimony of a family rescued from the Rio Grande.

The father drowned]

Republican state Sen. Blaise Ingoglia is willing to sponsor the initiative, which would fall under a program within the Division of Emergency Management (FEMA), according to the Senate memo.

Senate Speaker Kathleen Passidomo, a Republican, said the bill would be used "to facilitate the voluntary transportation of unauthorized immigrants who have been processed by the federal government and released into the United States."

They continue to search for the crew of the burned boat off the coast of Cuba

Jan 28, 202300:25

Details about how the program would be implemented are still not entirely clear.

Ingoglia did not immediately respond to a request for comment from NBC News.

Both the office of the speaker of the House of Representatives and that of the president of the Senate provided their respective memos, but did not comment on the plan.

DeSantis's office also did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

[Since March 2021, some 600,000 migrants who crossed the border have been released without summons]

In addition to Ingoglia's bill, state lawmakers are also reviewing Disney's special district, which DeSantis is seeking to bring under state control after the company criticized his decision to ban gender-responsive education in Florida schools.

DeSantis, a potential candidate in the 2024 presidential election who won re-election as Florida governor in November, drew harsh criticism from Democrats and immigrant advocates after he flew a group from Texas to Martha's Vineyard (Massachusetts).

The governor and other state officials were sued over allegations that the migrants had been fraudulently moved for political purposes.

Perla Huerta and DeSantis' office arranged migrant flights to Martha's Vineyard in Signal messages

Nov 16, 202200:57

Weeks later, a Texas sheriff declared the migrants victims of a crime and launched a criminal investigation into the flights and their legality.

NBC News contacted Bexar County Sheriff's Office Javier Salazar to inquire about the status of that investigation.

Republicans have criticized the handling of immigration by the Biden Administration, which has tried to dismantle some of Donald Trump's more restrictive immigration policies.

Last month, Biden traveled to the Mexican border for the first time since taking office.

He was specifically in El Paso (Texas).

The president announced in January that he would expand the use of the health regulation known as Title 42 to return to Mexico 30,000 Cuban, Haitian and Nicaraguan migrants each month.

Meanwhile, another 30,000 would be admitted monthly under the humanitarian


program , after demonstrating that they have financial sponsors in the United States.

Source: telemundo

All news articles on 2023-02-04

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