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Two planeloads of undocumented migrants sent to Martha’s Vineyard, sent from Florida, DeSantis office says

Credit: cindygoff shutterstock

A group of about 50 migrants recently landed at the airport in Martha’s Vineyard. There was confusion at the exclusive island as nobody knew where the immigrants had come from. Florida’s governor Ron DeSantis’ office confirmed that they had been sent from Florida and DeSantis gained national attention. The island is accessible only by boat or by air.

He and his office had been threatening to send immigrants to states like Massachusetts, New York and California as they had better facilities to look after undocumented immigrants who came via the southern borders as they had been designated as “sanctuary states” and had allegedly incentivized illegal immigration.

Republican governor DeSantis had been speaking of sending undocumented immigrants to Delaware, which is President Joe Biden’s home state. However, he has sent what might be the first among other batches to the rich enclave of Martha’s Vineyard in Massachusetts. The Florida Legislature has set aside $12 million to transport undocumented immigrants from the Sunshine State.

McAllen, Texas, USA – September 21, 2016: A group of Central Americans walks down a road prior to being picked up by the Border Patrol for illegally crossing the Rio Grande River into the U.S. in deep south Texas. There has been a flood of mothers with children and unaccompanied minors from Central America fleeing gang violence crossing illegally over the past several months.

The governor of Massachusetts Charlie Baker, who is a Republican, didn’t criticize Ron DeSantis. He said that his office would support the new arrivals. Local media said that most of the immigrants were Venezuelan. Emergency shelters have been created. Martha’s Vineyard has called itself a “sanctuary destination,” a position that was taken during the administration of former president Donald Trump.

Other Republicans hailed Ron DeSantis for the step taken to send the immigrants to Martha’s Vineyard. Conservative media also widely reported the event and some commented that they hoped that the next batch of immigrants would be sent to Delaware.

Democrats from Florida said that the governor was attempting to score political points at the expense of people who came to search for better opportunities and freedom. South Floridians including Venezuelans also condemned his move.

On Thursday morning, at a news conference in North Florida, DeSantis said that they took what was “happening at the southern border very seriously.” He added that their message was that Florida was “not a sanctuary state.”

Earlier governors of Texas and Arizona: Greg Abbott and Doug Ducey had sent busloads of undocumented immigrants to what are considered to be liberal states such as Washington, New York and Chicago.


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