Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis sends two planes of illegal immigrants to Martha's Vineyard
TALLAHASSEE - Florida Governor Ron DeSantis is taking credit for two planes full of migrants that landed at Martha's Vineyard on Wednesday.
Video shows the men and women deboarding the plane in Massachusetts.
"Yes, Florida can confirm the two planes with illegal immigrants that arrived in Martha’s Vineyard today were part of the state’s relocation program to transport illegal immigrants to sanctuary destinations," the governor’s communications director, Taryn Fenske, told Fox News Digital.
Florida's budget has $12 million set aside to remove migrants from the state.
"Every community in America should be sharing the burdens. It shouldn’t all fall on a handful of red states," said DeSantis.
Martha's Vineyard is famously known as a playground of rich progressives, including former President Barack Obama, who bought a multimillion-dollar house there in 2019, FOX News reports.
"We are not a sanctuary state and it's better to be able to go to a sanctuary jurisdiction, and yes, we will help facilitate that transport for you to be able to go to greener pastures," said DeSantis.
DeSantis proposed Delaware or Martha’s Vineyard as a destination for such migrants, but his office explained at the time that they could also be sent "to other 'progressive' states whose governors endorse blatant violations of federal immigration law."
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"It is not the responsibility of Floridians to subsidize aliens to reside in our state unlawfully; we did not consent to Biden’s open-borders agenda," the governor’s office said at the time.
Political opponents like Democratic Gubernatorial candidate Charlie Christ see the move as a political stunt.
"It’s amazing to me what he’s willing to do out of sheer political gain and to use people in this horrific way," said Christ.
Many of the immigrants on the flights are believed to be Venezuelans. Locally based Orlando groups that help immigrants bridge the gap to citizenship see the move as an attack on the immigrant community.
"These are mostly Venezuelan migrants including children who are escaping a brutal dictatorship in Venezuela," said Samuel Vilchez Santiago, State Director for American Business Immigration Coalition. "They are coming here through a dangerous and treacherous journey and now the governor is sending them to Massachusetts without any sort of protection."
The Orlando based Casa de Venezuela philanthropic group founder William Diaz says the state warned them two weeks ago that some Cubans or Venezuelans would be transported out of the state but he’s not sure how this helps fix the immigration problem.
"I think there are things that republicans and democrats have to sit down and resolve but don’t be involved in this kind of crisis where you have human people involved," said Diaz.
Nikkie Fried, Florida’s Department of Agriculture Commissioner has asked the DOJ to investigate the flights for political human trafficking. She and some others believe the rights of those immigrants may have had their rights violated by being transported across state lines.
She also questioned on twitter if the state funding of the flight was used properly.
In November, DeSantis said dozens of migrant flights landed in Florida at the behest of the Biden administration, and he threatened at that time to send them to Delaware on buses.
On Thursday, FOX News reported that two migrant buses from Del Rio, Texas, arrived near Vice President Kamala Harris' residence at the Naval Observatory in Washington, D.C.
The group of 75 - 100 migrants were reportedly picked up in Eagle Pass, Texas and sent by Texas Gov. Greg Abbott.