Florida officials take responsibility for migrant flights to Sacramento

The division released a video that appeared to show the migrants getting ready to be taken to California.

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Wednesday, June 7, 2023
FL officials confirm they set up migrant flights to Sacramento
The Florida Division of Emergency Management has confirmed that it is responsible for the two flights that flew a group of 36 migrants to Sacramento.

The Florida Division of Emergency Management has confirmed that it is responsible for the two flights that flew a group of 36 migrants to Sacramento.

FDEM shared a video they claim shows some of the migrants that were flown to Sacramento, signing paperwork and volunteering to get on the flight to California. In one part of the video a man is seen saying (in Spanish) "We made it to California. Thank God. Very thankful to God."

Another part of the video appears to show a group dancing and celebrating inside a vehicle.

At the 56-second mark a woman asks the group if they feel like they were treated poorly, to which the group responds "No."

"As you can see from this video, Florida's voluntary relocation is precisely that - voluntary. 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. From left-leaning mayors in El Paso, Texas, and Denver, Colorado, the relocation of those illegally crossing the United States border is not new. But suddenly, when Florida sends illegal aliens to a sanctuary city, it's false imprisonment and kidnapping," a spokesperson for FDEM said in a statement.

FDEM also included a list of other city and state governments that have transported migrants to other locations.

An NGO, is a nongovernment organization, such as the Catholic Church.

On Tuesday, a representative from Sacramento ACT, the organization helping the group of migrants, said they believed they were misled into getting on the flights. She also said the group that transported them said they'd return when they dropped them off at the Diocese of Sacramento, but never returned.

FDEM's statement seems to attempt to address those allegations by saying the contractor made sure "they made it safely to a 3rd-party NGO."

The first migrant flight occurred last week, and had 16 migrants from Colombia and Venezuela -- who entered the country and were processed by immigration officials in Texas -- taken to the Roman Catholic Church Diocese's headquarters in Sacramento. A second migrant flight to Sacramento occurred this past week as well.

Attorney General Rob Bonta has previously said that the migrants were found to have documents indicating Florida's involvement and that the state is looking into whether any crimes were committed in conducting the migrant flights, including kidnapping.

The flights have intensified a public sparring between Gov. Gavin Newsom and Florida's Governor Ron DeSantis, who has announced his candidacy for the Republican nomination for president in 2024.

Newsom tweeted at DeSantis, saying "@RonDeSantis you small, pathetic man. This isn't Martha's Vineyard. Kidnapping charges?"

Newsom is referring to previous migrant flights to Martha's Vineyard the state of Florida has orchestrated as well.

ABC News has reached out to Catholic Charities, the Governor's office, and the Attorney General's office and is waiting for a response.