House Homeland Security chair Bennie Thompson calls for federal probe of Ron DeSantis over Martha's Vineyard migrants stunt

·2 min read
Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis speaks to supporters at a campaign stop on the Keep Florida Free Tour at the Horsepower Ranch in Geneva, Florida.
Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis speaks to supporters at a campaign stop on the Keep Florida Free Tour at the Horsepower Ranch in Geneva, Florida.Paul Hennessy/SOPA Images/LightRocket via Getty Images
  • Rep. Bennie Thompson wants DOJ and DHS to investigate Ron DeSantis' migrant trafficking.

  • Thompson urged both agencies to investigate the Florida governors' activities ASAP.

  • Thompson joins other Democratic leaders who want AG Merrick Garland to shut down DeSantis.

Attorney General Merrick Garland and Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas should immediately look into any laws Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis might have broken while flying unsuspecting migrants around the country, Democratic Rep. Bennie Thompson strongly urged the Biden administration.

The chair of the House Homeland Security Committee called DeSantis' behavior into question in a letter to the Department of Justice and Department of Homeland Security leaders.

 

"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," Thompson wrote, citing media reports about the disconnect between what the displaced Venezuelans said they were promised while being scooped up in Texas and what happened after they were dumped off the coast of Massachusetts.

Thompson requests "an immediate review" of what the migrants have gone through as part of DeSantis' bid to make immigration policy a deciding factor in the midterm elections.

When asked whether he expects the administration to follow up, Thompson told reporters at the US Capitol, "I think a letter from the chairman … asking for them to review it would be enough."

Thompson joins a growing chorus of voices demanding investigations into DeSantis' polarizing stunt.

Massachusetts state representative Dylan Fernandes and state senator Julian Cyr, both of whom represent Martha's Vineyard, implored Garland to investigate the "conduct of all of those involved" a day earlier.

Former Rep. Charlie Crist, who is challenging DeSantis this fall as the Democratic gubernatorial candidate, almost immediately tried to pull Garland into this fight. "Justice needs to be served here," Crist said within hours of the migrants stepping foot on Martha's Vineyard.

Bexar County Sheriff Javier Salazar, and Democrat of Texas, on Monday, announced that he'd opened his own criminal investigation into the matter.

California Gov. Gavin Newsom has also urged Garland to investigate DeSantis.

Meanwhile, Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell cheered DeSantis on, telling congressional reporters that he thought the politically disruptive project was "a good idea."

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