May 28, 2023

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TALLAHASSEE, Fla. — Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis flew two planes of immigrants into Martha’s Vineyard on Wednesday, stepping up a strategy by Republican governors to draw attention to what they believe to be the failed border policies of the Biden administration.

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The flights to the upscale island enclave in Massachusetts were part of an effort to “move illegal migrants to sanctuary sites,” said Taryn Fenske, communications director for DeSantis.

While DeSantis’ office did not elaborate on their legal status, many migrants who cross the border illegally from Mexico have been temporarily released from deportation after US officials freed them to seek asylum in immigration court. is rescued – as permitted under US law and international treaty – or released on humanitarian parole.

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Charlie Baker, a Republican for Massachusetts Gov., said he was in touch with local officials and was being provided short-term asylum.

State Representative Dylan Fernandes, who represents Martha’s Vineyard, tweeted: “Our island jumped into action by putting together 50 beds, giving everyone a good meal, providing a play area for the kids, ensuring To do that people need health care and support. We are a community that comes together to support immigrants.”

Texas Gov. Greg Abbott began settling thousands of migrants in Washington in April and recently added New York and Chicago as destinations. Arizona Governor Doug Ducey has been sending migrants to Washington since May. Travelers must sign a waiver that free trips are voluntary.

DeSantis, who has been touted as a potential presidential candidate, is taking the strategy to a whole new level by using planes and choosing Martha’s Vineyard, whose port city is home to about 15,000 people, more than in New York or Far less prepared than Washington. influx of migrants.

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The move is likely to delight DeSantis’ supporters, who scoff at Democrat-led, immigrant-friendly “sanctuary” cities and anger critics, who say he is weaponizing migrants as pawns for political gain. are making.

Fenske said the Florida Legislature appropriated $12 million to transport “illegal immigrants” out of the state in line with federal law.

“States such as Massachusetts, New York and California will better facilitate the care of these individuals, which they have called for through their designation as ‘sanctuary states,’ by encouraging illegal immigration and supporting the Biden administration’s open border policies in our country.” I’ve been invited in,” Fenske said. ,