DeSantis says he is ‘proud’ of migrant flights, speaks against Chinese influence at Miami-Dade College

Gov. Ron DeSantis speaks on Thursday at Miami-Dade College. (Copyright 2022 by WPLG - All rights reserved.)

MIAMI – Gov. Ron DeSantis accused Nicolas Maduro on Thursday of releasing Venezuelans from prisons. He also said most of the migrants at the U.S.-Mexico border are not refugees seeking asylum.

The Republican governor, who is seeking reelection, also said the recent two flights of 50 migrants from Texas to Martha’s Vineyard raised awareness about the failures of the U.S. immigration policy.

“Hopefully, we are going to be talking about this a lot more now. This was not an issue of concern, even two weeks ago. Now, it seems to be on the front burner, so we are proud of that,” DeSantis said.

DeSantis accused President Joe Biden’s administration of doing the same with unannounced flights full of migrants to different states around the country.

“Biden has dumped people all over the fruited plain,” he said.

DeSantis also signaled the state-funded flights will continue. The state budget allocates $12 million to the campaign. The contractor is Vertol Systems Company, Inc.

“The policy is we want to voluntarily transport away from Florida so that we don’t have to bare the cost and there is a vendor that is doing that for us,” DeSantis said. “And so, there have been people at the border ... to be able to make sure that that policy that we have been charged with, with the (state) legislature, is being implemented.”

DeSantis stood behind a podium with a hanging “STOP CCP INFLUENCE” sign to reference The Chinese Communist Party, to deliver a speech at Miami-Dade College’s Wolfson Campus.

“You see a lot of leftist governments, Cuba, Venezuela — they welcome in the CCP into our very own hemisphere,” DeSantis said.

DeSantis and Manny Diaz, Jr., the state’s education commissioner, were with a group of Taiwanese men and women to outline efforts against the CCP.

DeSantis said he wants Florida to prohibit any gift from the CCP to educational institutions to stand against the spread of Marxist-Leninist Revolutionary Theory.

“Miami-Dade College had a Confucius Institute here,” DeSantis said adding that the Florida legislature shut down the CCP “propaganda operation” in the state.

DeSantis said the CCP is amassing a lot of data from TikTok users and he views this as a national security risk. He announced he signed an executive order to “prohibit government entities from procuring technology” from companies in China, Iran, Russia, Cuba, and other “countries of concern.”

DeSantis also said Florida is going to prohibit the purchase of lands near U.S. military installations by these same countries.

“They pay a lot more than it’s worth and that’s why people are doing it,” DeSantis said about the alleged real estate transactions.

DeSantis also blamed the fentanyl-related deaths on China and the “porous” U.S. border. After his speech, DeSantis allowed Amino Chi, the director-general of the Taipei Economic and Cultural Office in Miami, to take the podium to say that China poses a “security risk not only to Florida but also to the world.”

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About the Author:

The Emmy Award-winning journalist joined the Local 10 News team in 2013. She wrote for the Miami Herald for more than 9 years and won a Green Eyeshade Award.