Displaced Migrants in US: Treasury Investigating Florida Governor

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Displaced Migrants in the United States: Treasury Investigates Florida Governor

Migrants sent from Texas and dropped off outside the residence of Vice President Kamala Harris

The U.S. Treasury Department's internal watchdog is investigating whether Florida Governor Ron DeSantis improperly used federal pandemic aid. He is believed to have used it to transport migrants to Martha's Vineyard as part of his efforts to “transport illegal immigrants to sanctuary destinations”.

The goal is to determine whether millions of dollars in interest earned on fiscal stimulus funds, paid under the US bailout to states and municipalities, have been used to facilitate the transportation of x27;about 50 Venezuelans from Texas to Massachusetts in mid-September, with a stopover in Florida.

The stimulus fund program has strict requirements on how the money must be spent. Documents show that Florida officials paid US$1.56 million to Vertol Systems Co, based in Destin, Fla., for the migrants' trip to Martha's Vineyard and possibly for a flight to Delaware, President Joe Biden's home state, which ultimately did not take place.

The Office of the Inspector General has scheduled an audit on compliance and adherence to program eligibility guidelines, inspector says Deputy Treasury General Richard K. Delmar in a letter to Democratic Massachusetts Senator Ed Markey, who requested the investigation.

We plan to initiate this work as soon as possible, consistent with our other oversight mandates and priorities, the letter states. The Treasury has no incumbent Inspector General.

Mr. Markey wrote to the inspector general's office in September, shortly after Mr. DeSantis arranged the trip, which was highly publicized. The Florida governor said the migrants voluntarily traveled to Massachusetts.

Using federal COVID-related relief funds in this way defeats the intent of Congress and appears to violate federal law, Markey and six other Massachusetts lawmakers wrote. in a September 17 letter to Mr. Delmar. Mr. Markey added that Mr. DeSantis was cleverly using COVID-19 aid to score political points by exploiting vulnerable immigrants.

The White House called the trip to Martha's Vineyard a cruel and premeditated political coup.

Mr. Delmar did not say when the review would be complete. Other agencies in the United States have also launched investigations into migrant trips organized by Republican elected officials to Democratic strongholds.

The trip also prompted an investigation by a Texas sheriff and two lawsuits. The Treasury Department referred the questions to the Office of the Inspector General, who did not respond.

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