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Ron DeSantis

House homeland chairman asks DHS and DOJ to investigate DeSantis immigrant flights

House Homeland Security Committee Chairman Bennie Thompson (D-MS) sent a letter to the Department of Homeland Security and Department of Justice asking them to investigate flights of immigrants from Florida to Martha's Vineyard, Massachusetts, ordered by Gov. Ron DeSantis (R-FL).

DeSantis's move to follow in the footsteps of red state governors like Gov. Greg Abbott (R-TX) and send immigrants to blue states, this time by plane, has led to a political firestorm. Several leading left-wing figures, including Hillary Clinton, have gone so far as to decry the move as "human trafficking."

Thompson is now seeking to take concrete action against DeSantis's controversial move by getting the DHS and DOJ involved. He is confident that his request will be met favorably.

"I think a letter from the chairman ... asking for them to review it would be enough," he said, according to the Hill, which obtained the letter to DHS and the DOJ.


In his letter, he asks them to investigate whether any federal laws were violated in the transport of the immigrants or whether they were coerced through false information.

"I write with grave concern regarding the allegations that the migrants who were flown to Martha's Vineyard on September 14th were coerced to board the flight through false information," he wrote in the letter. "These allegations raise serious concerns as to whether any Federal laws were violated in the coercion and transport of the migrants. I therefore urge the Department of Justice to investigate any such potential violation of Federal laws."

"Similarly, I urge the Department of Homeland Security to conduct an immediate review of the circumstances regarding these individuals' release into and transport within the United States," he added.

DeSantis spokeswoman Taryn Fenske has decried the allegations, saying in a statement that a recent class-action lawsuit by the immigrants is "political theater" perpetrated by "opportunistic activists." She added that they were transported on a voluntary basis, even providing a copy of the waiver they apparently signed.


"The immigrants were homeless, hungry, and abandoned — and these activists didn’t care about them then. Florida’s program gave them a fresh start in a sanctuary state and these individuals opted to take advantage of chartered flights to Massachusetts," she said, adding, "It was disappointing that Martha’s Vineyard called in the Massachusetts National Guard to bus them away from the island within 48 hours."