MIAMI – A Texas sheriff has opened an investigation into the circumstances surrounding Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis’ decision to fly a group of migrants from San Antonio to Martha’s Vineyard, his agency tweeted Monday evening.
Javier Salazar, the sheriff of Bexar County, which includes San Antonio, held a news conference on the migrant flight Monday. Salazar is a Democrat, while DeSantis is a Republican.
“The Bexar County Sheriff’s Office has opened an investigation into the migrants that were lured from the Migrant Resource Center, located in Bexar County, TX, and flown to Florida, where they were ultimately left to fend for themselves in Martha’s Vineyard, MA,” the Bexar County Sheriff’s Office tweeted. “Additionally, we are working with private attorneys who are representing the victims, as well as advocacy organizations regarding this incident.”
The agency said it is also “preparing to work with any federal agencies that have concurrent jurisdiction, should the need arise.”
The Bexar County Sheriff’s Office has opened an investigation into the migrants that were lured from the Migrant Resource Center, located in Bexar County, TX, and flown to Florida, where they were ultimately left to fend for themselves in Martha’s Vineyard, MA.
— Bexar County Sheriff’s Office (@BexarCoSheriff) September 19, 2022
Meanwhile, Florida House Democrats say wasn’t playing by rules set forth in Florida’s budget, when $12 million was allocated for migrant transports.
They sent a letter to the House Speaker & budget chair raising an objection to the governor’s move Monday.
The funds were allocated to “facilitate the transport of unauthorized aliens from this state consistent with federal law, where unauthorized alien means a person who is unlawfully present in the United States.”
Democratic lawmakers argue that the migrants were actually refugees and asylum seekers, who, according to federal law, may stay in the United States while the asylum process plays out.
Florida House Democrats just sent this letter to the House Speaker & Budget Chair👇🏼launching objection to funding migrant transports
(ie Venezuelans to Martha’s Vineyard) … They say it’s a beyond-the-scope use of the $12M budget that passed with bipartisan support.@WPLGLocal10 pic.twitter.com/qlzgnz7VRa
— Glenna Milberg (@GlennaWPLG) September 19, 2022
“A vote for the budget is not a carte blanche,” Rep. Fentrice Driskell, D-Tampa, said. “(It’s not) approval of the governor to do whatever he wants.”
Venezuelans have flooded out of the country to flee the Maduro regime.
The migrants were not in Florida except for a short plane stop on the way from Texas. The letter argues any intention they might have had to come to Florida is not enough reason to “intercept” them.
A senior official in the DeSantis administration spoke to Local 10 News reporter Glenna Milberg Monday, seeking to clarify some things related to the migrant flight.
That official said Venezuelan families were never promised jobs or housing. Rather, they were told that in Massachusetts, there might be many more resources along those lines for migrants.
He also said prior to getting on those flights, many of them were put up at a hotel for a couple of days, got haircuts, got rest and said several of the migrants then chose not to go to Massachusetts.