‘We are not a sanctuary’: DeSantis responds to investigation over transporting illegal immigrants to California

Daily Caller News Foundation

Republican Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis responded to the state of California’s investigation into his recent migrant transports, saying his state isn’t a sanctuary for illegal immigrants, during a trip to the southern border on Wednesday.

DeSantis, who is vying for the Republican nomination for president in the 2024 election, met with border sheriffs in Cochise County to assess the surge in illegal immigration at the southern border. DeSantis sent the two flights in recent days to Sacramento, sparking an investigation from California Attorney General Rob Bonta’s office.

“I think the border should be closed, I don’t think we should have any of this. But if there’s a policy to have an open border, then I think the sanctuary jurisdictions should be the ones that have to bear that. We are not a sanctuary in Florida and yes we note people want to come and so the more we can divert before we even have to get there is good for our state,” DeSantis said.

“A place like California they give benefits, they give unemployment checks, they do all that and so you can see why some of those folks were interested  in going that direction. In Florida, we have gone the opposite way, we say were going to have a legal workforce, we’re not going to have benefits, we’re not going to do that and basically trying to disincentivize it. Other states have tried to incentive it and so I think they should be the ones to pay to do it,” DeSantis said.

Bonta’s accusations center around claims that the migrants were kidnapped. “While we continue to collect evidence, I want to say this very clearly: State-sanctioned kidnapping is not a public policy choice, it is immoral and disgusting. We are a nation built by immigrants and we must condemn the cruelty and hateful rhetoric of those, whether they are state leaders or private parties, who refuse to recognize humanity and who turn their backs on extending dignity and care to fellow human beings,” Bonta recently said.

The Florida governor also sent two migrant flights to Martha’s Vineyard in September.

“Through verbal and written consent, these volunteers indicated they wanted to go to California. A contractor was present and ensured they made it safely to a 3rd-party NGO. The specific NGO, Catholic Charities, is used and funded by the federal government,” the Florida Department of Emergency Management (DOEM) told the DCNF.

Florida DOEM also shared a video with the DCNF purporting to show the migrants signing waivers and consenting to the trips.

Ireland Walker contributed to this report.

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