Why is the Treasury investigating DeSantis’ migrant flights?

The Whole Story

FILE – Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis listens to a question during a press conference Sept. 7, 2022, in Miami, Fla. The Republican governors of Florida and Texas have delivered migrants on planes and buses to Washington, D.C., New York City and even Martha’s Vineyard, but they may just be getting started. (AP Photo/Rebecca Blackwell, File)

(NewsNation) — The U.S. Treasury is investigating whether Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis improperly used federal funds to pay for flights that delivered migrants from the Southern border to Massachusetts.

In September, DeSantis sent two planes carrying migrants to Martha’s Vineyard as part of an ongoing dispute between states and the federal government over immigration.

The state has not disputed that the funds it paid a charter company to shuttle the migrants came from interest that was generated from COVID-19 relief funds.

Who’s talking about this?

The left. Of the news outlets reporting this, 42% lean left, according to Ground News, a NewsNation partner that measures media bias.

  • NBC News: The Treasury Department’s internal watchdog is looking into how DeSantis paid for migrant flights to Martha’s Vineyard
  • CNN: Treasury Department watchdog is examining DeSantis’ flights carrying migrants to Martha’s Vineyard

Only 16% of reports came from right-leaning outlets.

Is that really what’s happening?

According to a letter from Deputy Inspector General Richard Delmar, the Treasury Office does have plans to conduct a review of the state’s COVID-19 spending.

Here is, in part, what Delmar wrote in the letter, dated Oct.

“Regarding the SLFRF, we are seeking, from its program officials in the Department, more detailed analysis of the guidance they have issued. We will review the allowability of use of SLFRF funds related to immigration generally, and will specifically confirm whether interest earned on SLFRF funds was utilized by Florida related to immigration activities, and if so, what conditions and limitations apply to such use.”

RIchard K. Delmar, Deputy Inspector General

SLFRF funds reference the state and local funds doled out during the pandemic as part of the American Rescue Plan.

NewsNation also reported this story Wednesday on “Rush Hour.” You can watch the clip here:

What’s another side of the story?

Some right-leaning outlets characterized the probe as an “audit” rather than an investigation and others, like The Blaze, said it was only announced after Democrats “begged” for it.

Delmar’s letter was in response to the Massachusetts Democratic Congressional Delegation, which wrote asking for a probe. The inspector general also noted that audit work is included in part of its oversight responsibilities for SLFRF funds.

The bottom line

Immigration at the southern border remains a hot-button issue ahead of the November midterm election, particularly for DeSantis, who is considered a potential GOP presidential candidate.

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