Florida’s DeSantis flies dozens of “illegal immigrants” to Martha’s Vineyard, escalating tactic against “sanctuary destinations”

50 migrants transferred to Martha’s Vineyard by Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis

50 migrants transferred to Martha’s Vineyard by Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis


Tallahassee, Florida Florida Governor Ron DeSantis on Wednesday flew two immigrant planes over Martha’s Vineyard, Advancing the Strategy of Republican Governors To draw attention to what they believe to be the failed border policies of the Biden administration. The flights to the upscale island enclave in Massachusetts were part of an effort to “move illegal migrants to sanctuary sites,” said Taryn Fenske, communications director for DeSantis.

While DeSantis’s office did not elaborate on their legal status, many migrants crossing the border illegally from Mexico are temporarily saved from deportation after US officials freed them to seek refuge in immigration courts. is – as permitted under US law and international treaty – or released on humanitarian parole.

Terry McCormack, press secretary to Massachusetts Governor Charlie Baker, a Republican, said in a statement that the state executive was “in contact with local officials regarding the arrival of migrants at Martha’s Vineyard.”

“At this time, short-term shelter services are being provided by local authorities, and the administration will continue to support those efforts,” McCormack said.

Immigration DeSantis flights
A woman, part of a group of just arrived immigrants, holds a baby as she feeds outside St Andrew’s Episcopal Church on Martha’s Vineyard in Edgartown, Mass., September 14, 2022.

Ray Ewing / AP

State Representative Dylan Fernandes, who represents Martha’s Vineyard, tweeted: “Our island jumped into action by putting together 50 beds, giving everyone a good meal, providing a play area for the kids, ensuring To do that people need health care and support. We are a community that comes together to support immigrants.”

Martha’s Vineyards Island Wide Regional Emergency Management said in a statement Wednesday afternoon that “approximately 50 individuals, to the best of our knowledge, originated from Venezuela, landed at Martha’s Vineyard Airport in search of shelter.”

Immigration DeSantis flights
Immigrants gather with their belongings at St Andrew’s Episcopal Church, on Martha’s Vineyard, in Edgartown, Mass., September 14, 2022.

Ray Ewing / AP

“The six island towns and the sheriff’s office as well as county management are actively collaborating to develop a coordinated regional response,” the statement said, adding that “two emergency shelters in local island churches has been set up. Space is available in case we come forward.”

Emergency management teams “reached out to our state and federal partners for additional and long-term support and assistance.”

Texas Governor Greg Abbott began settling thousands of migrants in Washington DC in April and recently added New York and Chicago as destinations. Arizona Governor Doug Ducey has been sending migrants to Washington since May. Travelers must sign a waiver that free trips are voluntary.

Governor Greg Abbott vows to continue sending migrants to sanctuary cities


DeSantis, who has been touted as a potential presidential candidate, is taking the strategy to a whole new level by using planes and choosing Martha’s Vineyard, whose port city is home to about 15,000 people, more than in New York or Far less prepared than Washington. influx of migrants.

CBS Boston told The group of migrants wandered about three-and-a-half miles from the airport to Edgartown, where “50 people at Martha’s Vineyard Community Services literally walked up to their front door,” said Barbara Rush of St. Andrews Church.

CBS News immigration reporter Camilo Montoya-Galvez notes that, unlike other cities Republican governors have chosen as the destination for immigrants, Martha’s Vineyard is not an urban, metropolitan area with a strong social services infrastructure. There are no major refugee or migrant service organizations. island. There is no Justice Department immigration court where migrants can attend asylum hearings. There is no ICE field office where expatriates can check in. Since it has not been a top destination for recent arrivals, flights will also raise questions about whether all the migrants who were delivered there on Wednesday knew where they were going.

Despite this, the move is likely to delight DeSantis’ supporters, who scoff at Democrat-led, immigrant-friendly “sanctuary” cities, and angry critics who say he is trying to pawn migrants for political gains. As weapons.

Massachusetts Democrat Rep. Bill Keating said, “History doesn’t take pity on politicians who treat humans like cargo, load them up and send them a thousand miles away.”

Fenske said the Florida Legislature appropriated $12 million to transport “illegal immigrants” out of the state, which is in line with federal law.

“States such as Massachusetts, New York and California will better facilitate the care of these individuals, whom they have called for through their designation as ‘sanctuary states,’ by encouraging illegal immigration and supporting the Biden administration’s open border policies in our country.” I’ve been invited in,” Fenske said. ,

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