DeSantis transports undocumented residents of Florida to Martha’s Vineyard by air
Gov. Ron DeSantis of Florida escalated a Republican governors’ strategy to bring attention to what they view as the Biden administration’s failed border policies on Wednesday by flying two aircraft of immigrants to Martha’s Vineyard.
According to Taryn Fenske, DeSantis’ communications director, flights to the posh island community in Massachusetts were a part of a plan to “carry illegal aliens to sanctuary destinations.”
Many migrants who cross the border illegally from Mexico are temporarily protected from deportation after being released by American authorities to seek asylum in immigration court, as permitted by U.S. law and international treaty, or released on humanitarian parole, though DeSantis’ office did not specify their legal status.
Republican governor of Massachusetts, Charlie Baker, claimed he was in contact with neighborhood leaders and that emergency shelter was being offered.
Representative for Martha’s Vineyard, Dylan Fernandes, posted on Twitter: “Our island swung into action putting up 50 beds, giving everyone a wonderful lunch, providing a play space for the kids, making sure everyone have the healthcare and assistance they need. We come together as a community to support immigrants.
Greg Abbott, the governor of Texas, started transporting migrants by bus to Washington in April and has more recently added Chicago and New York as destinations. Since May, the governor of Arizona, Doug Ducey, has been busing immigrants to Washington. To confirm that the free rides are voluntary, passengers must sign waivers.
DeSantis, who is rumored to be running for president, seems to be taking the tactic a step further by using planes and picking Martha’s Vineyard, whose harbor towns, which are home to approximately 15,000 people, are much less prepared than New York or Washington for significant influxes of migrants.
The action is expected to enrage DeSantis’ detractors who claim he is using immigrants as political pawns and delight his supporters who mock Democrat-led, immigrant-friendly “sanctuary” cities.
According to Fenske, the Florida Legislature allocated $12 million to transfer “illegal immigrants” out of the state in accordance with federal law.
States that encourage illegal immigration through their classification as “sanctuary states” and support for the Biden Administration’s open border policy, according to Fenske, would better enable the care of these people who they have invited into our nation.