US Woman who recruited migrants, arranged DeSantis's flights to Martha's Vineyard revealed
Despite rumors, no sign of DeSantis sending migrant plane from Texas to Delaware
For most of Tuesday, officials in Delaware and members of the public checked the status of a charter flight that was supposed to travel from San Antonio to President Joe Biden’s home state. The plane’s scheduled flight plan bore the hallmarks of Gov. Ron DeSantis’ operation last week to fly 48 Venezuelan migrants from San Antonio to Martha’s Vineyard. It was chartered by the same company, Ultimate JetCharters, that arranged the two flights to Martha’s Vineyard last Wednesday on behalf of the state of Florida, and was one of the two planes used in that effort.
The woman who allegedly lured onto flights from Texas for a secretive public awareness program run by Florida Gov. has been identified by two media outlets.
Perla Huerta, a former U.S. Army combat medic and counterintelligence agent living in the Tampa, Fla., area, was namedand on Sunday as the woman behind last month's controversial flights. Investigators with the San Antonio Sheriff’s Office told The Times they believe Huerta was sent from Florida to Texas to fill the planes, which were chartered by DeSantis as part of an effort to the migrant crisis .
Texas sheriff will investigate Florida flying Venezuelan migrants to Martha’s Vineyard
Authorities in Texas have opened a criminal investigation into Gov. Ron DeSantis’ operation to fly roughly 50 Venezuelan migrants from Texas to Martha’s Vineyard last week. Bexar County Sheriff Javier Salazar announced at a news conference Monday that his office is investigating whether the migrants were the victims of a crime, saying they were “lured under false pretenses.” Many migrants said they agreed to fly from San Antonio to the Massachusetts island after being promised jobs. But there was no work waiting. © Sydney Walsh/Miami Herald/TNS Fla. Gov.
DeSantis and his advisers have remained mum on the details of how the flights were coordinated and migrants were recruited, aside from acknowledging that the money used to pay for the effort came from a special $12 million appropriation in the state’s last budget for the Department of Transportation. The department was given the funds to create a program "to facilitate the transport of unauthorized aliens from this state."
The Republican governor said at the time that the program was meant to counter the number of migrants being flown in by the federal government. He shifted his focus to Texas this summer, after noting that he had yet to use the funds because the number of migrants who came to his state was less than expected.
How Democrats Gave Ron DeSantis a Pass
The party's befuddling inability to mount a strong challenge to the governor this year could enhance the Republican's presidential prospectsThe day before, DeSantis, Florida’s swaggering right-wing governor, had drawn national headlines by shipping about 50 Venezuelan asylum seekers from Texas to Martha’s Vineyard without warning. “I mean, what’s that got to do with Florida?” Crist says. “I think he’s overreached.
Huerta, who was discharged last month after two decades in the Army, does not appear to have developed an organized program to transport the migrants. Thus far, only 48 have been flown out of the Lone Star State on Florida's dime. That number pales in comparison to Texas Gov. Greg Abbott's program, whichmore than 11,000 migrants from his home state to three Democrat-run cities: Washington D.C., New York City, and Chicago.
Once out in San Antonio, Tx., Huerta allegedly found Venezuelan migrants, some of whom were homeless, and offered them food, clothes, money, and a place to stay if they found others willing to take free flights to.
The former spy, who did not respond to requests for comment from CNN or The Times, reportedly provided each of the migrants with a red folder containing a map of the United States with an arrow from Texas to Massachusetts, as well as another map of Martha's Vineyard with dots marking the airport and community center where they should go for services.
Miami Herald editorial says Gov. DeSantis' is 'flirting' with Christian nationalism and warns of white supremacy link
The Miami Herald editorial said there was an overlap between white supremacy and Florida Gov. DeSantis' "Christian nationalist shtick."The event featured top speakers and attendees from across the aisle, including First Lady Jill Biden, Republican Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis, and Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz.
The folder also included a brochure, that appeared to be fake, titled “Refugee Migrant Benefits,” in English and Spanish. The cover featured the message "Massachusetts Welcomes You" and an out of date state flag, while the back included a list of names and numbers for a church, a synagogue, and a nonprofit in the area. Inside, the brochure promised “up to eight months of cash assistance” for “income-eligible” refugees in the state. The language appears to be a reference to benefits available for refugees who come to the U.S. through the official resettlement program, which the Venezuelans recruited for the flights were not part of.
As for the flights themselves, Florida state records show that the Department of Transportation paid Vertol Systems, an airline charter company with ties to prominent Republicans, to get the migrants to Martha's Vineyard. The company was paid $615,000 and $950,000 by the state of Florida in two separate transactions in September, just before the flights were chartered.
Texas Gov. Greg Abbott's aides were 'annoyed' by DeSantis' migrant stunt: NYT
Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis flew dozens of migrants from San Antonio to Martha's Vineyard earlier this month in a massive publicity move.The Sunshine State leader's scheme left several Texas Republicans peeved, according to The New York Times — including members of Texas Gov. Greg Abbott's team.
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Trump constantly talks about Ron DeSantis to his aides as the Florida governor is poised to be his most formidable opponent in the 2024 election, NYT's Maggie Haberman tells CNN. .
The New York Times' Maggie Haberman discussed Donald Trump's mindset during a CNN interview about her new book on the former president."There is no potential candidate in the Republican field who Trump has talked about more to his aides than Ron DeSantis," Haberman told CNN in an interview on Tuesday about her new book, "Confidence Man: The Making of Donald Trump and the Breaking of America." "It is a constant running discussion.