Florida Governor Ron DeSantis on Migrant Flights

“Playing Footsie With Maduro” Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis Fires Back At Critics Of Migrant Flight

From a press conference in Miami on Thursday, Florida Governor Ron DeSantis held nothing back, slamming critics of his decision to fly migrants to Martha’s Vineyard last week.

When asked by a reporter on Thursday, if giving notice to his counterpart in Massachusetts would have made a difference in recent blowback, DeSantis unloaded.

“I know that Biden has dumped people all over the fruited plane in the middle of the night with zero notice. There are small towns that are getting inundated with people with zero notice and so that’s not something that they’ve been doing,” said DeSantis.

“So the issue is just simply. We had a policy when Joe Biden took office, that was working. It was orderly. There’s a whole cottage industry that anyone that wants to get in should just claim asylum. Most of these people clearly do not qualify for asylum, so that is being abused,” DeSantis said.

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“You have really serious things happening along the way to the border which no one seems to care about. You have people that once they get in are basically destitute in some parking lot. They’re not upset about that. They’re not upset about all the fentanyl that’s coming into this country and is now leading to record fentanyl deaths and that would not be happening if we had a secure border,” said DeSantis.

“And yes Maduro is releasing people from prison. You have this is being used strategically to weaken our country. So if you have criminal aliens coming in and they victimize Americans, those should not be those crimes. Should not have happened if we just had a secure border. So no one really cared about that from the national media perspective, until 50 show up in Martha’s Vineyard,” DeSantis added.

DeSantis said, “Biden was asked, hey, how come you can’t keep control the border. He’s like, well, I’m having to deal with Cuba Nicaragua, and Venezuela are those new dictatorships? Have those not been dictatorships for a long time?” 

“He’s (Biden) soft on all those dictatorships. It would be one thing if he was actually willing to apply pressure and then say it’s causing people to need asylum, but he’s coddling them. He’s willing to go and play footsie with Maduro. He didn’t lift a finger last summer when the Cuban people were rising up to take on the Raul Castro regime,” said DeSantis.

Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis’ office is challenging claims that DeSantis “misled” illegal migrants into boarding planes heading to Martha’s Vineyard, Massachusetts,

According to DeSantis’s office, the migrants were given days to decide whether to travel to the island, senior officials with the governor’s office said on a call with reporters Monday afternoon.

The illegal migrants, who were flown from Texas to the island, were informed of their destination and given days to decide whether they wanted to board the flights the governor was offering, the officials said.

DeSantis sent two planes of illegal migrants to Martha’s Vineyard, a popular destination for many wealthy elites, on Sept. 16.

In the news: Florida Democrats Dispute Use Of State Money For Migrant Flights To Martha’s Vineyard

“Everybody was given multiple opportunities to you know to voluntarily go or to decide even after receiving meals, accommodations, and an opportunity to clean up and get some rest to stay behind if they wanted and some chose to do that. These were people that were in a rough situation, and undoubtedly had their circumstances improved,” an official said.

Pamphlets that DeSantis’ office gave to the illegal migrants that pointed them to local refugee and shelter resources and a map with the island labeled and marked with a red star were posted to multiple social media outlets.

DeSantis’ office acknowledged reporting the pamphlets from multiple outlets, saying some reports show “authentic” packets.

Multiple media outlets reported that the illegal migrants were told they were going to Boston, not Martha’s Vineyard, and promised specific job, which the official said wasn’t true.

“They were given every opportunity over a multiple-day period to decide if they didn’t want to go on the trip and to go a different direction,” the official said. “Indeed, some of these individuals after a night or two of accommodations chose to stay behind and not go on the trip. During the flights, individuals were given bags with snacks, with water, with other provisions of information taken from the Massachusetts website that talks about benefits that are available in a sanctuary state.”

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The illegal migrants were homeless, malnourished, and had been sleeping in parking lots around the Texas border before they were given shelter and time to decide whether to take the flights, according to the officials.

“Many had been in a shelter at some point previously and had been kicked out, did not have a place to go and essentially we’re wandering homeless along the border,” the official said. “We gave everybody a voluntary opportunity, it was made very clear it was voluntary to go to Massachusetts, and on multiple occasions prior to the departure of these flights these individuals were told they would be going on Martha’s Vineyard.”

Several states have threatened DeSantis with possible legal actions.

Democratic California Gov. Gavin Newsom urged Attorney General Merrick Garland to investigate Republican governors’ efforts to ship illegal migrants to other cities for alleged kidnapping and civil rights violations in a letter Thursday letter.

“Like millions of Americans, I have been horrified at the images of migrants being shipped on buses and planes across the country to be used as political props,” Newsom wrote in his letter to Garland. “Clearly, transporting families, including children, across state lines under false pretenses is morally reprehensible, but it may also be illegal.”

Gainesville Mayor Lauren Poe tweeted last Thursday that he would happily resettle illegals in the home of the University of Florida.

“Instead of sending families fleeing violence in Venezuela to Martha’s Vineyard, bring them to Gainesville,” said Poe.

“They will be welcomed, we will use the money to house them and they will add to [the] cultural and economic foundation of our city.”

The “money” Poe referred to was his caveat for accepting the folks the Republican governor is assisting to find aid in wealthy Martha’s Vineyard.

His condition for accepting the illegals was that they come “along with the $12m.”

This year, the Republican-led Legislature banked $12 million for DeSantis’ discretion to deal with the illegal immigration problem.

Back in April, when he announced the funding, DeSantis said, “If you sent [the illegal immigrants] to Delaware or Martha’s Vineyard or some of these places, that border would be secure the next day. That border would be secure.”

The border may not be secure – yet. But DeSantis has made a point.

The governor sent just 50 illegals to Martha’s Vineyard and the local tourism board immediately declared a “humanitarian crisis.”

That is the equivalent of the number that would have crossed the Texas border in just 25 minutes in April, when a record 234,000 people flowed illegally into the U.S.

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