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Florida Governor Ron DeSantis giving speech after Hurricane Ian.
DeSantis intervenes after the passage of Hurricane Ian. Photo: @GovRonDeSantis.

Governor of Florida in the eye of the “hurricane” due to immigration decision

Ron DeSantis is signaled for planning the transport of more than 100 immigrants to Delaware and Illinois.

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According to a series of documents obtained by CNN, the Florida program for the resettlement of immigrants planned to mobilize a group of 100 or more people between September 19 and October 3.

DeSantis told reporters in September: "If you can do it at the source and divert them to sanctuary districts, the chance of them ending up in Florida is much less."

Revealing Documents

The memos sent to the state purchasing administrator of the Florida Department of Transportation by the CEO of Vertol Systems Company Inc., James Montgomerie, prove the intention to carry out this maneuver, since this is the company contracted by Florida to carry out the immigrant transport.

While one of the memos explicitly states that Vertol Systems would provide the services to transport the migrants "from Florida," another document dated September 15 indicates that two projects were planned.

"Project 2" consisted of transporting 50 immigrants to Delaware, while "Project 3" does the same, but with destination to Illinois.

For its part, another memorandum, sent on September 16, and with the specific indication of transporting the migrants to a “near northeastern state designated by the Florida Department of Transportation based on existing conditions,” joined the two projects estimating their cost at $950,000.

Contract Under Revision 

Public records show that the state of Florida has paid Vertol Systems $1.6 million, including a payment of $950,000.

Also, although the flights to Delaware and Illinois never took place, flight plans were submitted to the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) indicating that there was a second set of flights planned from San Antonio, TX, to Delaware.

It also studies how on September 14 two planes picked up 48 migrants from San Antonio and transported them to Martha's Vineyard, Massachusetts. The flights, paid by the state of Florida, stopped for fuel in Crestview, Florida, and the Carolinas.

A third release, this one dated more recently (October 8), shows that Vertol Systems extended the project dates to December 1, meaning flights could still take place.

While DeSantis has met criticism by saying the flights were necessary to stem the flow of migrants at the source before they reached Florida, CNN reached out to Illinois Governor J.B. Pritzker, without receiving a response, while a spokesman for Delaware Governor, John Carney, said he had no comments.

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