Edgartown, Massachusetts. – Republican governors are escalating their partisan tactics of sending immigrants into Democratic strongholds without warning, including a wealthy summer enclave in Massachusetts and the home of Vice President Kamala Harris, to taunt leaders of immigrant-friendly “sanctuary” cities and stoke opposition to the Biden administration’s border policies.
The governors of Texas and Arizona have sent thousands of immigrants on buses to New York, Chicago and Washington, DC in recent months. But the latest surprise moves — which included two trips to Martha’s Vineyard on Wednesday pushed by Florida — reached a new level of political theater that critics derided as inhumane.
MARtha’s Vineyard, MA – SEPTEMBER 15: A mother and her child spent time outside their St. Andrews Parish home where immigrants were feasting on lunch with community donated food. Two planes of migrants from Venezuela arrived suddenly on Wednesday
Upon arrival at Martha’s Vineyard, where former President Barack Obama is home, immigrants predominantly from Venezuela were provided with meals, shelter, health care and information on where to find work.
The holiday island south of Boston, whose year-round residents include many blue-collar workers, appears to have taken in dozens of newcomers without much hindrance.
Previous: Governor Ron DeSantis sends two “illegal immigrants” to Martha’s Vineyard
Elizabeth Fulcarelli, executive director of the nonprofit Martha’s Vineyard Community, was finishing work when she saw 48 Venezuelans carrying luggage and backpacks approaching her office. They carried red folders with brochures for her organization.
“They were told they would get a job. And they would have housing,” said Folcarelli, who described the shelter scramble as a “huge challenge.”
Migrants were playing soccer and lounging in small groups on the balcony of their makeshift shelter Thursday while meeting visiting lawyers who gave free advice and other service providers.
Martha’s Vineyard, MA – September 15: Students from Marthas Vineyard Regional High School AP Spanish help deliver food to St Andrews Episcopal Church. Two planes of migrants from Venezuela suddenly arrived Wednesday night in Martha Viña
Well-wishers handed out donations, and volunteers signed up to offer whatever help they could. There were no signs of protest.
more: Two immigrant buses drop off outside the VP Harris residence near the Naval Observatory in the capital
The president of the League of United Latin American Citizens, Domingo Garcia, said that some immigrants who were sent on buses from Texas to Washington, D.C., were “deceived” – a claim the Associated Press has not confirmed and that officials in Texas and Arizona have denied.
Florida Governor Ron DeSantis said the flights to Martha’s Vineyard were part of an effort “to move illegal immigrants to safe destinations.” The Florida legislature has allocated $12 million to move “unauthorized aliens” out of the state.
Governor Ron DeSantis celebrated the 21st anniversary of 9/11 with a ceremony in Clearwater.
DeSantis’ office did not respond to questions about where the immigrants boarded the planes and how they were persuaded to make the trip.
One of the planes originated in San Antonio, Massachusetts Senator Julian Sayer told the Vineyard Gazette, raising questions about whether the immigrants ever set foot in Florida. Flight tracking data shows that a flight originated in San Antonio, with stops in Crestview, Florida, and Charlotte, North Carolina, before landing in Martha’s Vineyard.
Martha’s Vineyard, MA – SEPTEMBER 15: A group of immigrants gather on a sidewalk in front of St. Andrews Episcopal Church. Two planes of migrants from Venezuela suddenly arrived Wednesday night at Martha’s Vineyard. (Photo by Jonathan Wiggs / Boston
Two buses of Texas immigrants arrived early Thursday morning outside Harris’ residence at the US Naval Observatory, carrying more than 100 immigrants from Colombia, Cuba, Guyana, Nicaragua, Panama and Venezuela.
“The Biden-Harris administration continues to ignore and deny the historic crisis on our southern border, which has endangered and overwhelmed Texas communities for nearly two years,” said Texas Governor Greg Abbott, who has spent billions of taxpayer dollars making border security difficult. . Signature issue.
California Governor Gavin Newsom, a Democrat who has publicly quarreled with DeSantis and Abbot over their conservative policies, on Thursday asked the US Department of Justice to investigate whether moving immigrants across state borders as “political props” was against the law.
Undocumented immigrants arrive at Martha’s Vineyard in Massachusetts on September 14, 2022. (Video provided to Fox News Digital)
“Moving families, including children, across state borders on false pretenses is morally reprehensible, but may also be illegal,” Newsom wrote in a letter to US Attorney Merrick Garland also posted on his Twitter account.
Without mentioning DeSantis or Abbot by name, Newsom suggested that the federal government could bring charges of kidnapping and “conspiracy against civil rights” because immigrants were targeted because of their national origin.
After immigrants seeking asylum cross the US-Mexico border, they spend time at a US Customs and Border Protection facility along the border until they are generally released to the US to await their cases. Republicans say Biden’s policies encourage immigrants to disappear into the United States; Democrats argue that the Trump-era policy of forcing immigrants to wait until their asylum cases are completed in Mexico is inhumane.
White House press secretary Karen Jean-Pierre said Thursday that federal officials were not informed in advance by Republican state governors who sent immigrants to Massachusetts and Washington.
“We’re talking about children, we’re talking about families who were promised a home, they were promised a job, they got on a bus and went somewhere they don’t know,” said Jean-Pierre, who called the governors. Acts of a “cruel and deliberate political ploy”.
Abbott has transported 7,900 immigrants to Washington since April, and later sent 2,200 to New York and 300 to Chicago. Arizona Governor Doug Ducey has moved more than 1,800 immigrants to Washington since May. Passengers must sign waivers that the free flights are voluntary.
Martha’s Vineyard, MA – SEPTEMBER 15: Volunteers mingle outside St. Andrews Episcopal Church. Two planes of migrants from Venezuela suddenly arrived Wednesday night at Martha’s Vineyard. Immigrants are being cared for in the church at the moment.
DeSantis appears to be taking strategy to a new level by using planes and choosing Martha’s Vineyard, whose cities of about 15,000 people are far less prepared than New York or Washington for a massive influx of immigrants.
Texas and Florida angered officials in destination cities by not providing passenger lists, estimated times of arrival and other information that would facilitate preparation. In turn, Arizona coordinated with officials in other cities.
President Joe Biden faces the same challenges as his predecessor, former President Donald Trump: a broken asylum system in the United States, and economic and social conditions that are driving people from dozens of countries to flee.
Illegal immigrants arrive at Martha’s Vineyard in Massachusetts on September 14, 2022 (Fox News obtained video)
US authorities stopped immigrants crossing from Mexico about two million times from October through July, an increase of nearly 50% from the same period the previous year. Many of them have been released in the US to pursue their immigration cases because US authorities have struggled to expel them back to their countries under pandemic-era law that denies them the opportunity to seek asylum.
Some Republicans celebrated the latest extradition of immigrants from border states.
“Welcome to being a state on the southern border, Massachusetts,” DeSantis spokesperson Jeremy Redfern tweeted.
Bringing “a few million” immigrants to Martha’s Vineyard should turn the island of about 15,000 people into a “modern Eden,” said Stephen Miller, Trump’s chief architect of immigration policy.
Charlie Crist, the Democratic candidate for governor of Florida, said DeSantis is treating immigrants inhumanely. “It’s amazing to me what he’s willing to do for purely political gain,” Crist said.
Talia Enlander, deputy director of the University of California, Los Angeles’ Center for Immigration Law and Policy, said flights to Martha’s Vineyard appear to violate Florida law that limits them to “unauthorized aliens.”
“These people are not unlicensed,” she said. “They don’t fly under the radar in any way.”
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