Illegal Immigrant 'Mystery Flights' Compared to Secret Cold War Migrant Airlift

Illegal Immigrant 'Mystery Flights' Compared to Secret Cold War Migrant Airlift

Javier Manjarres
Javier Manjarres
January 26, 2022

TALLAHASSEE — The Committee on Judiciary in the Florida Senate voted along party lines to pass a controversial immigration measure that would prevent the state from doing business with companies like Greyhound or American Airlines, who transport illegal immigrants into Florida using "mystery flights."

The bill is a staple in Gov. Ron. DeSantis’s overall “Florida First” agenda.

Senate Democrats have been pushing back against the Republican bill, questioning Republicans on all aspects of the bill, asking if the bill would create a hurdle for the federal government to reunite unaccompanied illegal immigrant children with their parents or relatives already living in Florida.

“If they are an illegal citizen, no matter how old they are, if common carriers are participating in this practice, then yes, that common carrier would then be prohibited, should this bill pass, from doing business with the state of Florida,” said Senator Aaron Bean (R), who referred to the current Biden immigration policy as a “human smuggling operation.”

During the hearing, the most contentious moment came when individuals testified on behalf of Cuban migrants, arguing that there wasn’t any difference between Operation Peter Pan or Operacion Pedro Pan of the 1960s, and the current “mystery flights” from the U.S. southern border to cities like Miami and Atlanta.

Senator Tina Polsky (D) told The Floridian that she was told that the “transportation of the immigrants” in question were children and that she didn’t “understand the difference between how we choose the immigrants” that come here.

“I really don’t understand the difference between how we choose the immigrants that come here based on the quality of the country. That’s not right in my opinion,” said Sen. Polsky. Just because they came from a communist country, what’s the difference?

In response to Sen. Polsky’s remarks on the comparison between Operation Peter Pan and the current transportation plan the Biden administration has in place for illegal immigrants, Sen. Manny Diaz, Jr. (R) told The Floridian that the immigration flights with children from Cuba in the 1960s could not be compared to the Biden administration’s current policy of flying illegal immigrants around the country once they crossed over illegally.

“The combination of the government and the church coming together, and parents making a sacrifice to decide to leave their children, have them go on their own just for freedom, I mean, I  think it's very difficult to compare that to what we're seeing today,” said Sen. Diaz

Sen. Diaz believes that a comprehensive, merit-based approach to immigration is needed, and while panning President Biden’s immigration policies, praised former President Donald Trump’s past immigration policy, including that the construction of the border security wall was a necessity.

Illegal immigrant children are crossing over the U.S. border with Mexico and being flown to different U.S. cities, but the overwhelming majority of passengers on these “mystery flights” are adults.

Back during the Cold War between the U.S. and the Soviet Union, Operation Peter Pan was a secret operation that airlifted 14,000 unaccompanied Cuban children between the ages of 6 to 18 to the United States.

Related Posts

Javier Manjarres

Javier Manjarres

Javier Manjarres is a nationally renowned award-winning political journalist and Publisher of,,, and He enjoys traveling, playing soccer, mixed martial arts, weight-lifting, swimming, and biking. Javier is also a political consultant and has also authored "BROWN PEOPLE," which is a book about Hispanic Politics. Follow on Twitter: @JavManjarres Email him at

Subscribe to the newsletter everyone in Florida is reading.

This field is for validation purposes and should be left unchanged.


Thank you for your interest in receiving the The Floridian newsletter. To subscribe, please submit your email address below.

This field is for validation purposes and should be left unchanged.