OPINION: This article may contain commentary which reflects the author's opinion.
Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis has thrown down a gauntlet of sorts involving the Biden administration’s ongoing efforts to distribute migrants who crossed illegally into the U.S. to other states throughout the country.
During a town hall-style event with Fox News host Laura Ingraham on Thursday, the GOP governor laid out his plan for dealing with migrants if they are being bused to the Sunshine State: He’ll reroute them to President Joe Biden’s home state of Delaware.
His warning came as the situation along the U.S. southwest border remains chaotic and porous, with an increased amount of illegal drugs and illegal aliens continuing to pour across by the tens of thousands per week.
“It affects everybody,” DeSantis said of the border situation. “The fentanyl that’s coming across the border is affecting every state in this union. That’s why the number one cause of death for 18 to 45 is now fentanyl overdoses.
“We have money in the state budget. I don’t have it yet. I’m going to get it within the next few weeks. If Biden is caravanning people into Florida … I think what you’re seeing there is these are people that are getting here on their own, which is harder to do if there’s a big movement of them, then you can stop at the interstate, and then you can reroute. We want to reroute to Delaware,” he threatened.
“We think that that’s appropriate to be able to do that. So that’s what we’re going to do,” DeSantis added.
DeSantis made a similar threat last fall as news reports noted that the Biden administration was secretly flying illegal migrants from the border to various states within the interior of the country, including Florida, in the middle of the night.
“You know, my view would be, why don’t we, if they’re going to come here, you know, we’ll provide buses,” DeSantis vowed.
“I will send them to Delaware and do that,” DeSantis continued. “I mean, if he’s not going to support the border being secured, then he should be able to have everyone there.
He went on to note that what made matters worse is that Biden’s DHS has never notified Florida officials about the migrant flights.
“There’s no notification to the state of Florida,” said the governor. “These are done mostly in the middle of the night. And it’s clandestine. And we really have no say into it.”
“I know when we initially got wind of this,” he added, “it wasn’t through normal channels, it’s people in the federal government who are effectively leaking this to us so that we have a heads up on it.”
But it’s not just illegal alien minors being sent to Florida, DeSantis noted.
The New York Post went on to report that a 24-year-old Honduran illegal who has been charged with the murder of a Florida man reportedly entered the country by claiming to be an unaccompanied minor.
“Over 70 air charter flights [on] jetliner airliners coming from the southwest border have landed at Jacksonville International Airport,” Larry Keefe, DeSantis’s public safety official, told The Washington Examiner.
“On average, there’s 36 passengers on each of these flights,” Keefe said. “And that has been going on over the course of the summer through September.”
“We’re in a sad situation of trying to run an investigation,” he added. “Who is facilitating this travel? How are they getting here? Who are the support people? Who are the sponsors?”
DeSantis also said in January he was planning to send illegal migrants to the president’s home state.
One, we have sued Biden and we have a case in federal court. Two, I am asking money for the legislature so that if we do get wind of these flights — and we haven’t had flights in the last couple of months since this has become a big issue, but we do anticipate they will try again,” he said.
“We have money that if they drop in Jacksonville, let’s say, I’ll pay for buses and we will send them to Delaware and some of these other places, and then they’ll know that Florida is not a good place to do it. We will also impose some I guess restitution on the companies that are bringing them in with federal government, these are contractors, bus companies, whatever,” DeSantis added.