KEY POINTS

  • DeSantis said the migrant flights came “unannounced” and were operated late at night
  • The governor's office said the Biden administration refused to provide information about the operations
  • Jacksonville Mayor Lenny Curry has also confirmed that his office wasn't informed about the flights beforehand

Florida Governor Ron DeSantis threatened Wednesday to send migrants to Delaware by bus amid reports that border officials sent dozens of secret migrant flights to his state.

Delaware is President Joe Biden’s home state. DeSantis is a top choice for the presidential candidate among Republicans for the 2024 elections and has boldly taken on Biden on various issues, including on vaccine and mask mandates.

“If they’re going to come here, we’ll provide buses. I will send them to Delaware and do that,” DeSantis said, Fox News reported. The Florida governor added that if the Biden administration refuses “to support the border being secure, then he should be able to have everyone there.”

Speaking on Fox News’ “Tucker Carlson Tonight,” DeSantis said migrant flights arriving in Jacksonville were operated late at night and landed in the area around “one or two or three in the morning.” DeSantis further stated that he wasn’t given enough time to veto the flights since they arrived “unannounced.”

Last week, DeSantis’ office told The Washington Examiner that more than 70 migrant flights from the southern border arrived in Jacksonville over the past few months. The outlet reported that the Florida governor’s office has been trying to determine who facilitated the mysterious flights but an official reportedly said the Biden administration did not disclose information on flight operations.

“On average, there’s 36 passengers on each of these flights. And that has been going on over the course of the summer through September,” DeSantis’ public safety czar, Larry Keefe, told the Examiner.

Keefe added that the Department of Health and Human Services, Department of Justice, and the Department of Homeland Security did not provide the names of people on the flights.

The governor’s office was also not given information regarding where exactly the migrants are being transported to, Keefe said. Due to the alleged lack of details, Keefe said the governor’s office has to “spy on the government to see what it is that they’re doing in the middle of the night out of these airport facilities.”

The secret flights first came to light in mid-October, after a New York Post exclusive revealed how underage migrants were flown secretly into suburban New York and other parts of the country as part of the efforts to resettle migrants across the region.

The Post spotted a Boeing jet landing at the Jacksonville International Airport in mid-October at around 10 p.m. The said flight reportedly carried between 10 and 15 people who were later transported on a charter bus at the Twin Oaks Academy in the Apalachicola National Forest near Tallahassee. At that time, DeSantis questioned the “secrecy” in resettlement operations “if the Biden Administration is so confident that their open-border policy is good for our country.”

Earlier this week, Jacksonville Mayor Lenny Curry said the secret migrant flight operations “violates the rule of the law.” Curry added that he has been cooperating with DeSantis “to stop this recklessness.”

Curry added that the flights' operators did not communicate with the mayor's office and officials were only informed about the matter after the flights landed.

Florida Governor Ron DeSantis has come under fire for his handling of the public health response to COVID-19 Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis has come under fire for his handling of the public health response to COVID-19. Photo: GETTY IMAGES NORTH AMERICA / JOE RAEDLE