US: Migrants sent to Martha’s Vineyard by Florida governor
The migrants, a group of mostly Venezuelans including half a dozen children, will stay at a military base
Florida’s governor on Friday defended his decision to fly dozens of migrants to the vacation island of Martha’s Vineyard from Texas, and said similar actions could follow as a political dispute over border security deepens in the run-up to US elections in November.
Ron DeSantis claimed credit for a pair of chartered flights on Wednesday that carried around 50 migrants to Martha’s Vineyard, Massachusetts, as part of a broader Republican effort to shift responsibility for border crossers to Democratic leaders.
At a news conference, DeSantis blamed US President Joe Biden for what he portrayed as a failure to stop migrants from crossing the US-Mexico border, as a record 1.8 million have been arrested this year.
DeSantis said the Florida Legislature set aside $12 million to transport migrants out of the southeastern state and that his government would likely use the funds “to protect Florida.”
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The flights to Martha’s Vineyard followed a busing effort by Texas Governor Greg Abbott that sent more than 10,000 migrants to the cities of Washington, New York, and Chicago since April. Arizona’s governor also sent more than 1,800 migrants to Washington.
Martha’s Vineyard is home to around 20,000 year-round residents and is known as a vacation spot for affluent liberals like former presidents Bill Clinton and Barack Obama.
On Friday on the island, the migrants – a group of mostly Venezuelans including half a dozen children – boarded buses en route to a ferry to Cape Cod, where they would be temporarily housed at a military base.