Martha’s Vineyard arrivals: Gov. Ron DeSantis claims credit for sending 2 planes carrying migrants to Massachusetts


Republican Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis is claiming credit for sending two planes carrying migrants to Martha’s Vineyard in Massachusetts on Wednesday, according to a statement his office emailed to CNN.

“Florida can confirm that the two planes carrying illegal immigrants that arrived in Martha’s Vineyard today were part of the state’s relocation program to transport illegal immigrants to sanctuaries,” the statement said.

“States like Massachusetts, New York and California will better facilitate the surveillance of these people they have invited into our country, encouraging illegal immigration, being designated as ‘sanctuary states’ and supporting the open border policies of the Biden Administration.”

Approximately 50 migrants arrived in Martha’s Vineyard on two planes on Wednesday, according to Massachusetts state Sen. Julian Cyr, a Democrat who represents Martha’s Vineyard. The two planes arrived just after 3 p.m., Cyr said, and white vans took the migrants to Martha’s Vineyard Community Services.

“There was no progress alert anyone in Martha’s Vineyard or Massachusetts that these migrants were arriving without my knowledge,” Cyr said.

“The island scrambled to respond,” he added. “Basically, they put in shelters, the equivalent of a hurricane or a Nor’easter. This was established in a few hours and these families received their meal. They were tested for Covid and are spending the night in the shelters of various churches on the island.”

City officials and state officials are in contact about next steps, but Cyr stressed that the focus now is on helping the migrants who have arrived.

The movement continues in line with the Republican governments. Greg Abbott of Texas and Doug Ducey of Arizona began sending migrants to Washington, DC earlier this year. Abbott has since expanded his efforts to New York City and Chicago.

Migrants released from government custody often travel to other US cities while they go through immigration procedures. It is not clear where the migrants who arrived on Martha’s Vineyard came from or if they knew where they were going.

The Dukes County Emergency Management Association In a tweet Wednesday afternoon, it said it is accepting volunteers and opening emergency shelters on Martha’s Vineyard “due to an unexpected urgent humanitarian situation.”

Terry MacCormack, press secretary for Massachusetts Republican Governor Charlie Baker, told CNN affiliate WBZ in a statement: “The Baker-Polito Administration is in contact with local officials regarding the influx of migrants to Martha’s Vineyard. At this time, local officials are providing short-term shelter services, and The administration will continue to support these efforts.”

DeSantis’ announcement drew a backlash from Florida Democratic officials on Wednesday.

“Even for Ron DeSantis, it’s a new low.” Democratic state chairman Manny Diaz of Florida said in a statement. “There’s nothing DeSantis won’t do, and nobody he won’t hurt, to score political points.”

Charlie Crist, the Democratic candidate for governor of Florida, said in a statement: “This is another political mistake that hurts our state. Tonight, the 4.5 million immigrants who call Florida home must ask if they are next.”