(CNN) — Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis’ immigrant resettlement program planned to transport “approximately 100 or more” people to Delaware and Illinois between Sept. 19 and Oct. 3, according to documents obtained by CNN through a request. of public records.
The documents were memos sent to the state purchasing administrator for the Florida Department of Transportation by Vertol Systems Company Inc. CEO James Montgomerie. Vertol Systems is the name of the company contracted by Florida to carry out the transportation of immigrants.
The memorandum explicitly states that Vertol Systems would provide the services to transport the migrants “from Florida.”
According to a memo dated September 15, two “projects” were planned. “Project 2” would transport “up to fifty” immigrants to Delaware; “Project 3” would transport “up to fifty” immigrants to Illinois.
Both were scheduled to take place between September 19 and October 3.
A second memorandum, dated September 16, combined the projects into one and estimated their cost at about $950,000.
The message also said the migrants could be transported to a “near northeast state designated by the Florida Department of Transportation based on existing conditions.”
CNN reached out to Illinois Governor JB Pritzker but did not immediately receive a response. A spokesman for Delaware Governor John Carney said he had no comment.
The state of Florida paid Vertol Systems US$1.6 million, including a payment of US$950,000.
The flights to Delaware and Illinois never happened. However, flight plans were filed with the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) indicating that there was a second set of flights planned from San Antonio to Delaware.
A third memo, dated October 8, notes that Vertol Systems has extended the project dates to December 1, meaning flights could still take place.
On September 14, two planes picked up 48 migrants from San Antonio, Texas, and transported them to Martha’s Vineyard, Massachusetts. The flights, paid for by the state of Florida, stopped for fuel in Crestview, Florida, and the Carolinas.
DeSantis has tried to avoid criticism of the flights, saying they were necessary to stop the flow of migrants at the source before they reached Florida.
“If you can do it at the source and divert them to sanctuary districts, the chance of them ending up in Florida is much less,” DeSantis told reporters in September.