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Florida governor defends sending migrants to Martha’s Vineyard

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Sep 16, 2022 - 01:59 AM

WASHINGTON (AA) – Florida Gov. Ron Desantis on Thursday defended his decision to send dozens of migrants to the summer vacation destination of Martha’s Vineyard in the US state of Massachusetts.

DeSantis and other Republican governors vying for national attention have sent migrants, many of whom hail from Latin America, to Democratic-run jurisdictions in what critics say is shoddy political theater being conducted at the expense of suffering migrants.

The roughly 50 migrants arrived on Martha’s Vineyard late Wednesday evening on two planes, many of whom reported being told they were being sent to the metropolis of Boston, and were confused as to how they ended up on the wealthy island.

The migrants told National Public Radio that they were told by a woman who identified herself as “Perla” that the plane would bring them to Boston from San Antonio, Texas to receive expedited authorization to work in the US.

The Republican governor said his actions are an “innovative” way to respond to US President Joe Biden’s border policies.

“If you have folks that are inclined to think Florida is a good place, our message to them is we are not a ‘sanctuary state,’ and it is 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,” he said to applause from supporters.

“The minute even a small fraction of what those border towns deal with every day is brought to their front door, they all of the sudden go berserk,” he added, referring to Democratic-run jurisdictions.

DeSantis is one of a handful of Republican governors, including Texas Gov. Greg Abbott and Arizona Gov. Doug Ducey, who have sent waves of migrants, usually by bus, to Democratic states and solidly-Democratic Washington, D.C.

Abbott sent two buses Thursday to Washington, D.C., where they were dropped off in front of Vice President Kamala Harris’ residence at the US Naval Observatory.

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