On Tuesday, Florida officials released details and video regarding migrants flown from the Texas border to California earlier this week.
California officials stated on Monday that Florida authorities had helped fly the migrants from the U.S. southern border in Texas to Sacramento, prompting debate over potential kidnapping charges.
However, officials with the Florida Division of Emergency Management stated that the migrants involved had agreed to the relocation verbally and through written consent.
“A contractor was present and ensured they made it safely to a 3rd-party NGO,” wrote Amelia Johnson, FDEM’s deputy director of communications. “The specific NGO, Catholic Charities, is used and funded by the federal government.”
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In addition, Johnson sent News 6 a link to video of the migrants involved in the flight, which shows several of them filling out forms and speaking about the relocation.
“At any point, did you feel like you were treated poorly?” a woman is heard asking in Spanish to a room of people in the video.
In response, several people in the room say, “No,” and another person says, “They treated us super well.”
Another migrant in the video states that he and his fellow travelers struggled with threats in Colombia before coming to the U.S.
“Now, it’s OK. Thank you for my security...” he says in English before switching to Spanish. “I am very appreciative of this room because traveling in the streets and being exposed to paramilitaries and (MS-13) and other threats throughout Central America. To make it to a safe place and meet people with so much kindness like all of you. We are very appreciative.”
At this time, no information has been provided on who filmed the video, where it was recorded or when it was shot.
Johnson provided a list of other migrant relocations that have happened across the country, including the following:
|Texas||Gov. Greg Abbott||Chicago, Washington, D.C., |
New York City, Philadelphia, Denver
|Buses||8,500 - Washington, D.C.|
4,000 - New York City
1,300 - Chicago
260 - Philadelphia
|Arizona||Gov. Doug Ducey|
/Gov. Katie Hobbs
|Washington, D.C.||Buses||3,000 - Washington, D.C.|
|Chicago, IL||Mayor Lori Lightfoot||Other cities and towns in Illinois||Buses||One suburb alone received 100|
|Florida||Gov. Ron DeSantis||Martha’s Vineyard||Flights||50 - Martha’s Vineyard|
|El Paso, TX||Mayor Oscar Leeser||New York City, Chicago||Buses||10,700 - New York City|
3,250 - Chicago
|Colorado||Gov. Jared Pollis||New York City, Chicago and |
other major cities
|Denver, CO||Mayor Michael Hancock||New York City, Chicago, Atlanta, |
Miami, Orlando, Dallas
|Buses||1,900 - Location not specified|
|New York City, NY||Mayor Eric Adams||Other cities and towns in New York, Canada||Buses||340 - Other locations within New York state|
Last September, a group of 49 migrants were flown out of Florida to Martha’s Vineyard in protest of federal immigration policies, which many critics have lambasted as being too relaxed.
In that case, state officials released copies of the consent forms signed by all 49 migrants flown to Martha’s Vineyard.
News 6 has reached out to FDEM to ask for copies of the documents signed by the migrants flown to Sacramento and information about those filmed in the released video. That request is awaiting a response.
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