Florida governor accused critics of his attempt to fly migrants to Martha’s Vineyard of “virtue signaling,” saying their concern for the well-being of the migrants was a “fraud” — as California governor said he should be investigated for possible kidnapping.
Ron DeSantis on Wednesday chartered a plane to send 50 people, mostly Venezuelans, to the exclusive vacation island of Massachusetts.
The move sparked outrage among Democrats and human rights groups, who accused him of playing politics with people’s lives and misleading the migrants with promises of accelerated work permits if they boarded the plane.
On Thursday evening, CNN reported that the migrants were in Texas and then flown to Martha’s Vineyard. Many said they had no idea where they were going.
Charlie Crist, the former Florida governor who is now trying to overthrow DeSantis, called him a “monster” for “using children as a stunt.”
California Governor Gavin Newsom wrote to the Justice Department to request that DeSantis be investigated for kidnapping.
But DeSantis, who is widely regarded as a candidate for the White House in 2024, was defiant.
Florida governor Ron DeSantis defends his role in flying migrants to Martha’s Vineyard on Thursday
DeSantis flew the two planes without giving any warning, sparking criticism from Democrats — including New York City Mayor Eric Adams
School buses were used to take the group of migrants, mainly from Venezuela, to the church that was providing shelter
“We take what is happening on the southern border very seriously, unlike some, and unlike the President of the United States, who has refused to lift a finger to secure that border,” he said on Thursday.
“And you’ve seen millions and millions of people make the illegal crossing – a record amount of fentanyl is entering our country. It’s definitely killing Americans in record numbers.
“Of course you have criminal aliens, but the mere number of people is not the way you run a country.”
Many of the migrants who illegally crossed the US-Mexico border hope to travel to Florida, which has a large and established Hispanic community.
However, DeSantis stressed on Thursday that his state is not a welcoming place for those illegally in the country.
He said he had decided — like Texas and Arizona governors who pioneered the transportation of migrants — to pay for their travel to a state that protected illegal immigrants.
In 2017, the Massachusetts state court ruled that bailiffs in Massachusetts do not have the power to arrest someone suspected of being illegally in the US if that person is not charged with criminal charges, effectively conferring state sanctuary status.
Migrants receive food and supplies from local volunteers on Wednesdays
Venezuelan arrivals are seen in the prosperous city on Wednesday
“If you have people who tend to think Florida is a good place?” [to settle]”Our message to them is that we are not a refuge, and it is better to be able to go to a jurisdiction of a sanctuary,” DeSantis told the crowd.
‘And yes, we will facilitate that transport for you to be able to go to greener pastures.’
DeSantis said it was ironic that the politicians who supported refuge cities then complained about migrants arriving in their countries.
“The moment even a small fraction of what those border towns go through every day is brought to their front doors, they go crazy and are so upset that this is happening,” he said.
“And it just shows you that their virtue signaling is a hoax.
“What’s best right now is Biden doing his damn job and securing the border.”
Newsom, meanwhile, announced that he has formally requested the Justice Department to investigate what he calls “inhumane efforts” by the governors of Florida, Texas and Arizona to transport migrants from their states.
California Governor Gavin Newsom said DeSantis should be investigated for kidnapping
Newsom tweeted his letter, which reads: “I urge the US Department of Justice to investigate whether the alleged fraudulent incitement would support the charge of kidnapping under relevant state laws, which could serve as a predicate offense for charges under the provisions of the Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organization (RICO) provisions. of the Organized Crime Act.’
In a letter to Attorney General Merrick Garland, he said he was “appalled by the images of migrants being transported across the country on buses and planes to be used as political props.”