Two planes carrying migrants were sent by Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis to Martha’s Vineyard on Wednesday night, his office said, infuriating Democratic politicians and prompting a frenzied response that included humanitarian aid by locals and assistance by federal officials.
It’s the latest in a series of moves by Republican governors to transport migrants to northern liberal enclaves to protest what they say are inadequate federal efforts on southern border security. Located off the coast of Massachusetts and long known as a posh summer destination for wealthy vacationers, Martha’s Vineyard provided an unusual and unexpected place for the migrants to be sent.
“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,” a statement from DeSantis’ office said.
An estimated 50 migrants arrived on Martha’s Vineyard Wednesday on two planes, according to Massachusetts state Sen. Julian Cyr, a Democrat who represents Martha’s Vineyard. The two planes arrived just after 3 p.m. ET, Cyr said, and white vans took the migrants to Martha’s Vineyard Community Services.
“There was no advance notice to anyone in Martha’s Vineyard or Massachusetts that these migrants were arriving to my knowledge,” Cyr said.
Municipal officials and state officials are in touch about next steps, but Cyr stressed that the focus right now is supporting the migrants who arrived.
Video circulating online from the the scene showed the group of young men, women and children carrying backpacks, pillows and blankets as they chatted outside Harris’ residence with nowhere to go initially.
As word spread of their arrival, however, local immigrant organizations sprung into action. A representative from a charity called Sanctuary DMV came later in the morning and announced that the migrants could temporarily be sheltered at a local church.
I sure hope Merrick Garland doesn’t see it as too divisive and partisan to investigate whether it breaks any federal laws to use desperate people as human pawns in a depraved political game.