Florida migrant-moving company gave GOP cash, has ties to DeSantis' immigration 'czar' and Rep. Matt Gaetz
The charter co. DeSantis used to fly migrants has contributed to his allies and has ties to Matt Gaetz and the state's “czar” in charge of immigration policy.
The air charter company Gov. Ron DeSantis’ administration hired for his migrant-moving program has contributed big money to some top allies of the governor and was once legally represented by Rep. Matt Gaetz and his former partner, who is now Florida's “public safety czar” in charge of immigration policy.
DeSantis’ administration has refused to release a copy of the $12 million contract with Vertol Systems Company Inc. for its role in administering the “unauthorized alien” program — which state Democrats sought to block with a lawsuit Thursday — nor will the governor’s office comment on the nearly $1.6 million the company has received to send migrants to so-called sanctuary cities that welcome immigrants.
Gaetz, who managed DeSantis' transition team in 2018, would not comment for this article, nor would his former law partner, Florida’s public safety coordinator Larry Keefe, who represented Vertol in at least one civil lawsuit in 2017, according to court records from Okaloosa County, Florida.
Migrants flown to Martha's Vineyard file class action lawsuit against Fla. Gov. Ron DeSantisSept. 20, 202201:27In Vertol's only known case of relocating migrants, the company received an initial $615,000 last week and recruited almost 50 destitute asylum-seeking Venezuelan migrants in San Antonio, gave them food and at least one night’s hotel stay, and then flew them to Martha’s Vineyard, Massachusetts, as part of DeSantis’ effort to highlight the toll of illegal immigration. Lawyers for the migrants say they were tricked by false promises and are suing.
On Tuesday, the company was planning to fly migrants to a Delaware airport near President Joe Biden’s beach home, but the flight was inexplicably scrapped after the state gave Vertol another $950,000.