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DeSantis threatens to send illegal immigrants flown into Florida to Delaware instead

(The Center Square) – Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis has threatened to send illegal immigrants secretly flown into Florida by the federal government to Delaware, the home state of President Joe Biden.

The vow came after he learned that the federal government is processing foreign nationals who entered the U.S. illegally at the southern border and then flying them to the interior of the U.S. without notifying governors of states where they are being flown to. Upon arrival, many are enrolled in federal welfare programs partially funded by states, including Medicaid, food stamps, and other forms of assistance.

So far, DeSantis said he’s learned that at least 70 flights have brought people in to Jacksonville, Florida, from the southern border.

Jacksonville Mayor Lenny Curry also said, “Planes dropping off those that have crossed our borders illegally in the dead of night violates the rule of law. I have been working with Gov. Ron DeSantis to stop this recklessness.

“To be specific, this is happening in Jacksonville without any communication with us. We hear about it after they land.”

Most recently, a Honduran claiming to be 17 years old was flown to Florida after he had reportedly entered the U.S. illegally in Texas. Customs and Border Protection officials hadn’t verified his identity or age based on the information he told them. It wasn’t until after he was arrested by Florida law enforcement officers that they learned his real name was Yery Noel Medina Ulloa and he was 24 years old.

Ulloa stabbed his sponsor to death, a 46-year-old father of four, in Jacksonville, who had taken him in believing him to be a destitute teenager. DeSantis expressed outrage over the murder, arguing Ulloa shouldn’t have been in Florida to begin with.

During a news conference, DeSantis said his office is looking at legal avenues after his administration learned about the flights.

If Biden isn’t going to secure the border, DeSantis said, “my view would be, if they’re going to come here, we’ll provide buses. I will send them to Delaware.

“If he’s not going to support the border secured then he should be able to have everyone there. We are going to do absolutely everything we can in that regard.”

In September, DeSantis signed an executive order prohibiting state agencies from aiding the federal government in transporting illegal immigrants and vowed to sue the Biden administration over its “catch and release” program.

The White House, Customs and Border Patrol, the Department of Health and Humans Services and the Office of Refugee Resettlement have not released information about where the flights are going that are transporting hundreds of thousands of people north, including unaccompanied minors, after they entered the U.S. illegally at the southern border.

However, when questioned last month about the flights, White House press secretary Jen Psaki only referred to unaccompanied minors in her response. She said, “It is our legal responsibility to safely care for unaccompanied children until they can be swiftly unified with a parent or a vetted sponsor. That’s something we take seriously. We have a moral obligation to do that and deliver on that.”

She also explained that the flights were part of the policy implemented by the HHS and ORR, which have been overseeing the transfer of unaccompanied minors, working with NGOs in cities throughout the U.S.

“In recent weeks, unaccompanied children passed through the Westchester airport en route to their final destination to be unified with their parents or vetted sponsor,” Psaki said. “It’s no surprise children can be seen traveling through states, not just New York.”

DeSantis told Fox News’ Tucker Carlson, “So these are flights that are coming in, 2 or 3 in the morning. The feds, of course, control the airspace. And they’re there on the ground. They take these folks, and they send them to other parts of Florida by bus. Or to other parts of the Southeast,” DeSantis said.

He also added that Florida was looking into banning work with federal contractors working with the government to transport illegal immigrants into Florida.

“So what we're looking at is how can we fight back against the contractors?” he said. “We can obviously deny them state contracts, which we will do. Can we deny them access to Florida's market generally? Can we tax them? Can we do things to provide disincentives so they can't do it? So we're going to do whatever we can to do it."

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