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Treasury investigating if Florida misused COVID funds to send migrants to Martha's Vineyard

Markey: Treasury looking into possible misuse of funds for migrant transport
Markey: Treasury looking into possible misuse of funds for migrant transport 00:18

WASHINGTON - The U.S. Treasury Department is investigating Florida's possible misuse of COVID relief funds to transport migrants to Martha's Vineyard.

Sen. Ed Markey's office says the Treasury is auditing whether Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis misused taxpayer funds to relocate nearly 50 migrants from Texas to Massachusetts last month.

A letter from the Treasury Office of Inspector General to Markey and other Massachusetts members of Congress says "we have already sought information from Florida about appropriate use of that fund."

Specifically, the Deputy Inspector General said he'll be looking to confirm if Florida used interest earned from COVID relief funds for "immigration activities," and whether there are limitations to how the funds can be used. 

DeSantis said in September that "the legislature gave me $12 million" to relocate migrants, and he planned to spend every penny.

"States should not be permitted to use COVID-19 relief funds for any parochial interest unrelated to the pandemic, particularly for naked political conduct that imposes severe and unjust harms on disadvantaged groups of individuals," Markey and the other Congressional representatives wrote to the Inspector General last month.

All of the Venezuelan migrants who were flown to Martha's Vineyard have now left Joint Base Cape Cod where they were being temporarily housed.    

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