Miami Beach Mayor Dan Gelber on Sunday criticized Florida Governor Ron DeSantis for his decision last week to send two planes carrying migrants to Martha’s Vineyard, Massachusetts.
The planes were carrying about 50 migrants, including children, mostly from Venezuela, whom DeSantis flew to Martha’s Vineyard as part of an effort to blast the Biden administration’s US-Mexico border policies.
In an interview on MSNBC on The Katie Phang ShowGelber, a Democrat, was asked about migrants and noted that he was in Massachusetts by coincidence and had recently been asked about DeSantis.
“I was wearing my Miami Dolphin hat and I was literally pulled over by somebody who, I thought they were going to tell me about the New England Patriots, and they wanted to know if I was from Florida and what not. ‘was wrong with my governor,’ he said.
“And of course there is something very serious with our governor right now because he is treating children and families escaping a truly incredible trauma from Venezuela like political pawns in a very, very cowardly effort to , I guess, get support for an election in 2024,” Gelber added.
DeSantis’ decision to send migrants to Martha’s Vineyard has earned him praise on the right and sharp rebuke from the left.
In a speech on Thursday, President Joe Biden lambasted DeSantis and Texas Governor Greg Abbott for “playing politics with human beings” and for “using them as props.”
Abbott has transported migrants – by bus – from his state to New York, Chicago and Washington DC in recent days. Some of the migrants he sent to DC were dropped off outside Vice President Kamala Harris’ residence.
“We have a process in place to manage migrants at the border,” Biden said during his speech. “Republican officials should not interfere with this process by doing these political stunts.”
Newsweek contacted DeSantis’ office for comment.
Defending his decision to send the migrants to Massachusetts, DeSantis, at a press conference on Thursday, said he was helping the migrants by facilitating their transportation to “sanctuary” jurisdictions. Sanctuary jurisdictions are cities and states that limit their cooperation with immigration authorities.
“If you have people who are inclined to think Florida is a good place, our message to them is that we are not a sanctuary state, and it is better to be able to go to a sanctuary jurisdiction,” he said. declared. “And yes, we’ll help make that transportation easier so you can go to greener pastures.”
Meanwhile, in a statement emailed to Newsweek On Friday, the DeSantis spokesperson said getting migrants out of Florida was part of the state’s “resettlement program,” which aims to keep human smugglers and traffickers and “illegal aliens out of southern border” to enter the state.
“Florida continues to advocate against Biden’s catch and release policy and has launched a statewide grand jury to examine the harmful effects of illegal immigration statewide,” the statement read. .
Does DeSantis plan to run for president in 2024?
Although DeSantis and Democratic California Gov. Gavin Newsom haven’t announced plans to run in 2024, they both appear to be positioning themselves to potentially enter the race. President Joe Biden and former President Donald Trump have also hinted they will run again in 2024.
In a poll conducted by Yahoo News between June 24 and 27, 1,630 respondents were asked if they would vote for Newsom or DeSantis if the 2024 election were held today.
A total of 39% of those polled said they would vote for Newsom, compared to 36% who would choose DeSantis. Still, the Florida governor is more popular among independent voters as 38% of them said they would vote for him in a hypothetical presidential race compared to 33% of independent voters who would vote for Newsom.