(KTXL) — Florida’s Division of Emergency Management confirmed Tuesday afternoon its involvement in what it calls “voluntary relocation” of volunteers who “indicated they wanted to go to California,” this after two flights carrying migrants arrived in Sacramento in the last week.
The Division released a statement that included a link to a video that includes photos and recordings of people signing documents, boarding a plane, and commenting on their arrival to California and their experience as they traveled to the U.S.
Details about the photos and video are unclear, such as when and where the images were recorded, who produced them, and who the people in the images are.
“As you can see from this video, Florida’s voluntary relocation is precisely that – voluntary,” reads a statement from Amelia Johnson, deputy director of communications for the Florida Division of Emergency Management.
“Through verbal and written consent, these volunteers indicated they wanted to go to California. A contractor was present and ensured they made it safely to a 3rd-party NGO. The specific NGO, Catholic Charities, is used and funded by the federal government,” the statement continues.
The statement also included information on other city and state leaders who have relocated migrants, including governors Greg Abbott in Texas Jared Polis in Colorado, and mayors Oscar Leeser in El Paso and Eric Adams in New York.
On June 2 and 5, two separate flights carrying migrants arrived in Sacramento. They have since been receiving housing and services from local government and community groups.
Representatives of these groups have said that the migrants indicated they did not know where they were headed when they were approached by people at the El Paso shelters who purportedly were taking them to another location.
California Governor Gavin Newsom and Attorney General Rob Bonta have previously said that these flights were organized by the office of Florida Governor Ron DeSantis, and that they would investigate if any crimes were committed during the relocation of the migrants.
Shortly after Florida officials confirmed their involvement, Newsom’s spokesperson Anthony York said, “This is exploitative propaganda being peddled by a politician who has shown there are no depths he won’t sink to in his desperate effort to score a political point.”
“Using Florida taxpayer dollars to send migrants from Texas through New Mexico to California to get votes in Iowa and New Hampshire. Pathetic.”