Delaware officials prepare for possible plane carrying migrants

Gov. DeSantis could not confirm that a plane of migrants was scheduled to land in Delaware on Tuesday

During a news conference Tuesday on Florida tax relief programs, Gov. Ron DeSantis addressed a rumor regarding a possible flight of undocumented migrants to Delaware.

ORLANDO, Fla. – Officials in Delaware are preparing for the possible arrival of a plane carrying migrants from Texas.

News 6 spoke with the mayor of Georgetown, who said he was told by the governor of Delaware that an unknown number of people were expected to land at the airport Tuesday afternoon, but no one has arrived yet.

A statement shared by a spokesperson for Governor John Carney stated, “We are aware of reports, and continue to prepare for the possibility of migrants arriving in Delaware unannounced.” Spokesperson Emily David Hershman continued, “Our teams at DEMA and DHSS are working with community organizations and other partners to make sure that migrants who arrive here have the support that they need. We are coordinating with Federal officials and are prepared to welcome these families in an orderly manner as they pursue their asylum claims.”

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Public records show the state of Florida paid the same contractor who organized similar flights to Martha’s Vineyard last week an additional $950,000. One of the same planes was scheduled to take off from San Antonio, Texas, stop in Crestview, Florida, and then travel to Georgetown, Delaware Tuesday, according to flight-tracking website FlightAware.

A spokesperson for Delaware’s Department of Health and Human Services told reporters at the airport Tuesday afternoon they have no reports of any migrants arriving via plane at this point. Jill Fredel also shared that although the governor’s office “has not received any outreach from Texas or Florida,” but resources would be on standby in case any migrants do come to Georgetown.

“The folks who may be coming to our state have been through a very difficult journey. This will be another leg on that journey, so we want to offer them food and shelter and transportation,” said Fredel.

Governor Ron DeSantis could not confirm that a plane of migrants was scheduled to land in Georgetown Tuesday or if the state of Florida would pay for a possible flight. While speaking to a crowd in Bradenton, Florida he once again criticized the Biden Administration’s border policies when asked about the state’s relocation program.

His office stated the two flights to Martha’s Vineyard were paid for with money allocated in the budget to transport “illegal aliens.” The Florida Department of Transportation is responsible for hiring the contractor for the transport. News 6 reached out to FDOT Tuesday and asked if the $950,000 payment is planned for any possible flight to Delaware. No one responded to our request for comment.

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About the Author:

Catherine, born and raised in Central Florida, joined News 6 in April 2022.