Governor Ron DeSantis on Monday promised to take action against contractors bringing undocumented illegal immigrants to Florida on behalf of the federal government.
Appearing on “Tucker Carlson Tonight,” DeSantis alleged that upwards of 70 flights have landed at Jacksonville International Airport in recent months, all containing undocumented individuals from Central America and Mexico.
“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,” said DeSantis. “They take these folks, and they send them to other parts of Florida by bus. Or to other parts of the Southeast.”
A Honduran national that was brought to Florida through one of the midnight flights was alleged to have murdered Francisco Javier Cuellar, father of four, in October.
“If Biden had not been doing that, if he’d been doing his job, that individual would be alive today,” said DeSantis.
While seven different Democrat elected officials either declined to comment on the matter or did not respond to emails seeking comment, District 47 Representative Anna Eskamani sought to add nuance to the issue.
“We also need to stop politicizing what is a humanitarian crisis. The United States has an incredible history in welcoming the sick and tired and those yearning to be free. Florida has had a history under the leadership of Senator then-Governor Rick Scott in supporting in-state tuition for Dreamers,” Eskamani said. “Our Governor’s comments don’t provide insight into the bigger picture of these issues and it certainly doesn’t pay homage to our American values of working across the aisle to solve problems.”
During the interview, DeSantis acknowledged the limitations that the state government faces due to federal ownership of the airspace.
“We’re looking at what we can do. I think that they use these private contractors. So what we’re looking at is how can we fight back against the contractors?” said DeSantis.
DeSantis claimed that the state government can and will deny them state contracts while also investigating the possibility of denying the Florida market, taxing, providing disincentives to the federal government.