The Biden administration has announced it has launched an investigation into Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis on the heels of one of the biggest hurricanes to rock the Sunshine State in recent history.
The Treasury Department’s Office of Inspector General said Wednesday that officials will investigate whether the state misspent federal funds when DeSantis flew illegal migrants from Texas to the Democrat-run liberal enclave of Martha’s Vineyard, with former President Barack Obama and his wife own a multi-million dollar mansion.
“The news comes weeks after the DeSantis administration sent two planes of about 50 Venezuelan nationals from Texas to the wealthy enclave of Martha’s Vineyard with a stop in Florida along the way, drawing outrage for what some – including President Joe Biden – have called a political stunt. Biden dismissed the ploy at the time and said Republicans are ‘playing politics with human beings, using them as props,’” US News reported.
Republicans, meanwhile, have countered for most of the nearly two years Biden has been in office that his lax immigration enforcement policies have led to a massive spike in drug smuggling that is killing Americans while putting millions of migrants in danger of being abused by cartels.
Sen. Edward Markey (D-Mass.) on Wednesday released a response the state congressional delegation recently received from the department’s OIG, which said that officials have “already sought information from Florida about appropriate use of” federal coronavirus relief funds. The officials plan to see if any of the funds used to fly the migrants is an allowable expenditure. Also, Deputy Inspector General Richard Delmar said in his letter that the office plans “to get this work underway as quickly as possible.”
“I applaud the swift response from the Treasury’s Office of the Inspector General,” Markey noted in a statement. “For the sake of the migrants who were lured onto charter planes under false pretenses, and for the commendable Commonwealth residents who rallied together to offer support, I hope that this investigation sheds light on whether Governor DeSantis misused funds that were intended for COVID relief for Floridians.”
Last month, DeSantis pushed back hard on Democrat claims regarding a group of illegal migrants he sent to the ritzy liberal enclave of Martha’s Vineyard last week. Several Dem lawmakers accused the Florida governor of legal violations including “human trafficking,” the latter a charge leveled against him by California Gov. Gavin Newsom, who suggested as much in a letter sent last week to U.S. Attorney General Merrick Garland. Some have also said DeSantis “falsely lured” or “enticed” the migrants to the island off of Massachusetts, claims he addressed during a news conference on Friday.
“I think that’s totally false,” he said in answer to a question from a reporter. “I think if you look, the folks that are contracted, not only do they give them a release form to sign, they actually give them a packet and in that packet included a map of Martha’s Vineyard. So it was obvious that that’s where they were going, and they gave that to them.
“And here’s the thing, it’s all voluntary because it’s just the type of thing where we think that’s the right way to do it,” DeSantis added, according to The Daily Wire. “I mean, I think that if the states could send, I would send back to Mexico or back to the home country.”
“But here we are doing it voluntarily, they sign a release, and then they get a packet. So they did get a packet that had the map of Martha’s Vineyard. And they’re also treated, you know very well with all this, I mean, they’re treated well with meals and everything,” he continued.
The popular governor then addressed a claim made by left-wing figures on a CNN program last week who tried to liken his actions to the Holocaust. “I saw somebody on CNN try to say, ‘sending 50 illegal aliens to wealthy Martha’s Vineyard is reminiscent of the Holocaust,’” DeSantis said.
“And I just thought to myself, has the world gotten totally mad? I mean, these are voluntary transportation that they’re signing up for, but they’re given a good ride, they’re given everything. And that’s just you know, it’s a humane thing to do,” he added.