Democrats reprimanded Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis (R) for allegedly defrauding nearly 50 migrants to board planes they didn’t know were bound for Martha’s Vineyard.
DeSantis took credit for sending two planes loaded with migrants from Venezuela and Colombia to the Massachusetts island on Wednesday. He and other Republican governors hope to use the relocation of migrants from their states as a way to draw attention to the White House’s immigration policies, the Associated Press reports.
As NPR reports, the flights DeSantis claimed were paid for by a state program, started in San Antonio and stopped in Florida and the Carolinas before arriving at Martha’s Vineyard. However, the migrants told the radio network that a woman calling herself “Perla” persuaded them to board the plane and said they would get work papers soon when they arrived in Boston.
Massachusetts Gov. Charlie Baker (R) said that short-term shelter was provided for migrants arriving at Martha’s Vineyard.
Democrats condemned the Florida governor’s actions as a political stunt.
Rep. Bill Keating (D-Mass) told WPRI-TV that DeSantis had misused public resources to pay for the flights. He also claimed that island officials told him that a videographer was on board a plane.
I[DeSantis sent the migrants] So that he could use it to his advantage and then for his payment the political spokesman was immediately taking credit, if you want to call it credit, for doing something that was clearly a political stunt,” Keating said. Told.
Keating later said the stunt was not even original and cited legislation introduced by Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Texas) last year. aimed at sending migrants to new ports of entry, such as Nantucket and Martha’s Vineyard,
“What it was obviously, it’s transparent enough, it’s clear enough and for Florida taxpayers, [it’s] waste, just for [DeSantis’] his own political end. ,
White House press secretary Karine Jean-Pierre called DeSantis’s move “inhumane” on Thursday.
“The Republican governor … using migrants as political pawns is shameful, reckless, and absolutely wrong,” Jean-Pierre said.