Democrats have slammed Florida Governor Ron DeSantis (right) for allegedly tricking about 50 migrants into boarding planes they didn’t know were bound for Martha’s Vineyard.
DeSantis took credit for sending two planes full of migrants from Venezuela and Colombia to the island of Massachusetts on Wednesday. He and other Republican governors hope to use relocating migrants out of their states as a way to draw attention to White House immigration policies, the Associated Press reported.
The flights, which DeSantis said were paid for by a state program, started in San Antonio and made stops in Florida and the Carolinas before arriving in Martha’s Vineyard, NPR reported. However, the migrants said on the radio that a woman who went by the name “Perla” persuaded them to board the plane and said they would receive expedited work documents when they arrived in Boston.
Massachusetts Governor Charlie Baker (right) said short-term shelter was provided to migrants who arrived at Martha’s Vineyard.
Democrats condemned the Florida governor’s actions, calling them a political stunt.
Rep. Bill Keating (D-Mass.) told WPRI-TV that DeSantis misused public resources to pay for the flights. He also said he was told by island officials that a videographer was on board one of the planes.
″[DeSantis sent the migrants] so he could use it to his own advantage, and then his paid political spokesman immediately took credit, if you want to call it credit, for doing something that was clearly a political stunt” , Keating said.
Keating later said the stunt wasn’t even original and referenced legislation introduced by Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Texas) last year that aimed to send migrants to new ports of entry, such as Nantucket and Martha’s Vineyard.
“It’s clearly what it was, it’s pretty transparent, it’s pretty obvious and for Florida taxpayers, [it’s] extravagant, just for [DeSantis’] own political end.
On Thursday, White House press secretary Karine Jean-Pierre called DeSantis’ decision “inhumane.”
“Republican governors…using migrants as political pawns is shameful, it’s reckless and just plain wrong,” Jean-Pierre said.
The Huffington Gt