Florida flies "illegal immigrants" to Martha's Vineyard

Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis on Wednesday flew two planes of immigrants to Martha's Vineyard, escalating a tactic by Republican governors to draw attention to what they consider to be the Biden administration's failed border policies.

News 12 Staff

Sep 15, 2022, 12:08 PM

Updated 669 days ago

Share:

Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis on Wednesday flew two planes of immigrants to Martha's Vineyard, escalating a tactic by Republican governors to draw attention to what they consider to be the Biden administration's failed border policies.
Flights to the upscale island enclave in Massachusetts were part of an effort to “transport illegal immigrants to sanctuary destinations,” said Taryn Fenske, DeSantis' communications director.
While DeSantis' office didn't elaborate on their legal status, many migrants who cross the border illegally from Mexico are temporarily shielded from deportation after being freed by U.S. authorities to pursue asylum in immigration court — as allowed under U.S law and international treaty — or released on humanitarian parole.
Massachusetts’ Gov. Charlie Baker, a Republican, said he was in touch with local officials and that short-term shelter was being provided.
State Rep. Dylan Fernandes, who represents Martha’s Vineyard, tweeted: “Our island jumped into action putting together 50 beds, giving everyone a good meal, providing a play area for the children, making sure people have the healthcare and support they need. We are a community that comes together to support immigrants.”
Texas Gov. Greg Abbott began busing thousands of migrants to Washington in April and recently added New York and Chicago as destinations. Arizona Gov. Doug Ducey has been busing migrants to Washington since May. Passengers must sign waivers that the free trips are voluntary.
DeSantis, who is mentioned as potential presidential candidate, appears to be taking the strategy to a new level by using planes and choosing Martha's Vineyard, whose harbor towns that are home to about 15,000 people are far less prepared than New York or Washington for large influxes of migrants.
The move is likely to delight DeSantis' supporters who deride Democrat-led, immigrant-friendly “sanctuary” cities and anger critics who say he is weaponizing migrants as pawns for political gain.
The Florida Legislature appropriated $12 million to transport “illegal immigrants” from the state consistent with federal law, Fenske said.
“States like Massachusetts, New York, and California will better facilitate the care of these individuals who they have invited into our country by incentivizing illegal immigration through their designation as 'sanctuary states' and support for the Biden Administration’s open border policies,” Fenske said.


More from News 12
2:13
HEAT ALERT: Heat and humidity continue for Tuesday; showers expected Wednesday

HEAT ALERT: Heat and humidity continue for Tuesday; showers expected Wednesday

1:54
Bridgeport extends city's hot weather emergency; several cooling centers opened throughout city

Bridgeport extends city's hot weather emergency; several cooling centers opened throughout city

0:44
Mosquitoes trapped in Old Greenwich test positive for West Nile virus

Mosquitoes trapped in Old Greenwich test positive for West Nile virus

0:12
Officials: No one injured in Fairfield bus fire

Officials: No one injured in Fairfield bus fire

2:43
Stamford man retells his eyewitness account of Trump rally shooting

Stamford man retells his eyewitness account of Trump rally shooting

2:25
After Trump shooting, CT delegates say they feel safe at Republican National Convention

After Trump shooting, CT delegates say they feel safe at Republican National Convention

2:26
Commuters react to attempted assassination of former President Trump

Commuters react to attempted assassination of former President Trump

1:55
'We're working to make kindness a contact sport.' Hockey Showcase honors memory of Darien skater

'We're working to make kindness a contact sport.' Hockey Showcase honors memory of Darien skater

0:30
Hawinton man faces manslaughter charges in girlfriend's death

Hawinton man faces manslaughter charges in girlfriend's death

0:36
Former state representative and candidate apologizes for Trump shooting meme

Former state representative and candidate apologizes for Trump shooting meme

3:30
Trump heads to convention as authorities investigate motive, security in assassination attempt

Trump heads to convention as authorities investigate motive, security in assassination attempt

2:14
Don't be caught in the dark: Are you ready to power through hurricane season?

Don't be caught in the dark: Are you ready to power through hurricane season?

5:30
In prime-time address, Biden warns of election-year rhetoric, saying ‘it’s time to cool it down’

In prime-time address, Biden warns of election-year rhetoric, saying ‘it’s time to cool it down’

0:31
Sen. Blumenthal on Trump assassination attempt: 'Political violence is absolutely unacceptable'

Sen. Blumenthal on Trump assassination attempt: 'Political violence is absolutely unacceptable'

2:07
A look back at US political violence that changed history

A look back at US political violence that changed history

4:10
EXCLUSIVE INTERVIEW: Trump rally attendee gives his eyewitness account of the shooting

EXCLUSIVE INTERVIEW: Trump rally attendee gives his eyewitness account of the shooting

1:52
Law enforcement experts assess security failure at Trump rally

Law enforcement experts assess security failure at Trump rally

2:37
Security increased at Trump Tower following rally shooting

Security increased at Trump Tower following rally shooting

2:27
Political analyst weighs in on gun violence in wake of Trump rally shooting

Political analyst weighs in on gun violence in wake of Trump rally shooting

1:29
Expert: Security will be a high level concern at presidential events in wake of Trump rally shooting

Expert: Security will be a high level concern at presidential events in wake of Trump rally shooting