Speed Reads

Probe Confirmed

Treasury Department confirms investigation of DeSantis' migrant transport

An inspector general for the Treasury Department has confirmed it will investigate whether Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis (R) improperly used funds intended for coronavirus aid to transport migrants, The Washington Post reports. 

In a Friday letter sent to Sen. Ed Markey (D-Mass.) and other members of Congress, Deputy Inspector General Richard K. Delamar wrote, "We will review the allowability of use of [State and Local Fiscal Recovery Funds] related to immigration generally, and will specifically confirm whether interest earned on SLFRF was utilized by Florida related to immigration activities, and if so, what conditions and limitations apply to such use."

The letter was in response to an inquiry from Markey and other members of Congress who were concerned that the spending DeSantis approved "violates federal law," per the Post. DeSantis said he would rely on a $12 million fund in the state's budget to relocate migrants. The Post previously reported that the money was actually interest earned on the over $8 billion in funding the state received as part of the American Rescue Plan, the last federal stimulus package. 

Last month, DeSantis sent two chartered planes carrying approximately 50 migrants to Martha's Vineyard in Massachusetts. He and fellow GOP Gov. Greg Abbott of Texas have garnered criticism from many for shipping migrants to designated sanctuary cities in protest of President Biden's immigration policies. 

A Texas sheriff announced that his department was opening an investigation into DeSantis' flights, seeing as as they originated in San Antonio. The letter from the Treasury is the first public acknowledgment that the federal government is investigating the transports, Politico reports.