Florida sends planes of migrants to Martha's Vineyard
NEW YORK - As Republican governors continue to send migrants out of their states, Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis sent two planes of immigrants to the Massachusetts island of Martha's Vineyard on Wednesday.
The flights were part of an effort to "transport illegal immigrants to sanctuary destinations," said Taryn Fenske, DeSantis' communications director. The legal status of the migrants on the flights was unclear.
Massachusetts’ Gov. Charlie Baker, who is also a Republican, said he was in touch with local officials and that short-term shelter was being provided. On Friday he activated the National Guard to deal with the issue.
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"The Baker-Polito Administration is in touch with local officials regarding the arrival of migrants in Martha’s Vineyard," said Terry MacCormack, Baker's press secretary. "At this time, short-term shelter services are being provided by local officials, and the Administration will continue to support those efforts."
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Rep. Dylan Fernandes, a local lawmaker who represents Martha's Vineyard as well as Falmouth, Nantucket, and Gosnold, said on social media that he was part of the logistical effort to welcome the migrants, which he claimed DeSantis sent "to gain cheap political points."
In another tweet, Fernandes described the migrant drop-off as "evil and inhumane" and accused Republicans of using human lives "as political pawns."
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"Currently immigrants are being dropped off on Martha's Vineyard by chartered flights from Texas," he said in another tweet. "Many don't know where they are. They say they were told they would be given housing and jobs. Islanders were given no notice but are coming together as a community to support them."
DeSantis has repeatedly accused Democrats of incentivizing migrants to cross over the U.S.-Mexico border, which continues to see record-high crossings.
"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.
Texas Gov. Greg Abbott began busing thousands of migrants to Washington in April and then started sending buses to New York City. On Wednesday, a New York City official said that many of those migrants actually wanted to be in Florida and they were helping them get there.
FOX News and the Associated Press contributed to this report.