Migrant crisis – latest: Ron DeSantis told GOP donors about flights to Martha’s Vineyard before officials

‘Just plain wrong’: White House condemns migrant flight to Martha’s Vineyard

Florida Governor Ron DeSantis told a roomful of GOP donors at a fundraising event about his plans to send migrants to places like Martha’s Vineyard, days before elected officials in the Massachusetts town would receive two unannounced planes carrying 50 people from border communities.

“I do have this money. I want to be helpful. Maybe we will go to Texas and help. Maybe we’ll send to Chicago, Hollywood, Martha’s Vineyard. Who knows?” Mr DeSantis reportedly said during a speech on Friday.

Texas Governor Greg Abbott’s office said the White House is “full of a bunch of hypocrites, led by the Hypocrite-in-Chief who has been flying planeloads of migrants across the country and oftentimes in the cover of night.”

The statement came hours after the White House said Mr Abbott and Florida Governor Ron DeSantis’ use of migrants to punish leaders of Democratic-led state and local governments is a “deeply alarming” stunt that placed innocent children in danger to score political points.

Meanwhile, the cabinet heads are expected to meet Friday morning with immigration driving the conversation, which will include “litigation options” to respond to GOP governors sending migrants north of the border to other parts of the country, Axios reported.


White House cabinet heads to discuss ‘litigation options’ in response to DeSantis, Abbott bussing migrants, report

Republican governors sending migrant buses and planes north in what the Biden White House has characterised as a “deeply alarming” political stunt have forced regularly scheduled meetings between high-ranking cabinet officials to explore “litigation options” to respond to the crisis, Axios reported.

According to the news outlet, cabinet heads and officials from departments of Homeland Security, State, Justice and Defense, are expected to meet Friday morning to discuss a range of issues, with immigration leading the conversation.

The meeting was planned before Governor Ron DeSantis sent two planes of migrants to Martha’s Vineyard and Governor Greg Abbott sent a bus carrying people from the border to park in front of Vice President Kamala Harris’ home in DC.

Details of what might be proposed in the meeting, according to the documents viewed by Axios, were not revealed, but it is expected to bring together some of the most senior officials, and secretaries, in relevant White House departments.


California governor asks DoJ to probe ‘alleged fraudulent scheme’ to send migrants to Martha’s Vineyard

California Governor Gavin Newsom says he was appalled when he saw the images of migrant women, children and men being dropped off at Martha’s Vineyard on planes from Florida when news reports claimed many of them didn’t know where they’d be landing.

“This is absolutely sick — profiteering off of the trafficking of children sounds a whole lot like the business of coyotes,” wrote the Democratic governor on Twitter on Thursday night.

Gov Newsom found himself so moved by the actions of his Republican counterparts in southern states that he took to tapping the Department of Justice.

“I strongly urge the U.S. Department of Justice (US DOJ) to open an investigation into possible criminal or civil violations of federal law based on this alleged fraudulent scheme,” Gov Newsom write in a letter on 15 September 2022, that was addressed to Attorney General Merrick Garland.

Among the accusations levelled against Gov Ron DeSantis, the Californian politician – who has frequently staged himself as the polar opposite of the Conservative Floridian – included one that has been cited by several news outlets which claims that the migrants were lured onto the planes under false promises of jobs and housing.

“Several of the individuals who were transported to Martha’s Vineyard have alleged that a recruiter induced them to accept the offer of travel based on false representations that they would be transported to Boston and would receive expedited access to work authorization,” wrote Mr Newsom.

He also asked that the DoJ “investigate whether the alleged fraudulent inducement would support charges of kidnapping under relevant state laws.”


DeSantis told Republican donors about his plans to send migrants to Martha’s Vineyard days before elected officials found out, report

At a private fundraising event held last weekend, Florida Governor Ron DeSantis boasted of a plot that would later dominate the 24-hour news cycle with images of confused migrants in Martha’s Vineyard and scatter local officials, who were not treated to the same tipoff that attendees at that Orlando meeting received.

According to The Washington Post, who spoke with two of the attendees on condition of anonymity, the Republican governor gave a rousing speech in Orlando over the weekend where he described plans to transport migrants to places like Martha’s Vineyard, Chicago and other northern cities that commonly known as sanctuary jurisdictions.

“I do have this money. I want to be helpful. Maybe we will go to Texas and help. Maybe we’ll send to Chicago, Hollywood, Martha’s Vineyard. Who knows?” Mr DeSantis reportedly said to a roomful of applause in a speech delivered on Friday evening at the Four Seasons in Orlando, less than a week before the two planes would land in Martha’s Vineyard carrying 50 migrants from border communities.

The room in the Orlando hotel reception hall was reportedly bustling with some of the Republican party’s top donors, who had all gathered to hear the right-leaning politician deliver what attendees told The Post was a clear outline of what his platform issues would be in a potential 2024 presidential run.

At one point, the Mr DeSantis highlighted the work of other Republican governors who had been carrying out similar bussing relocation efforts in their states, specifically calling out Texas Governor Greg Abbott’s buses to DC, Chicago and New York as “brilliant.”

“I think it’s been very effective,” he said of flooding liberal cities with migrants.


Video: Buses carrying migrants arrive outside Kamala Harris’ home in DC

ICYMI: Video footage from social media shows the scene as two buses carrying migrants from Texas, as directed by the state’s governor, Greg Abbott, arrive outside the home of Vice-President Kamala Harris in Washington, DC.

Watch the clip below here:


ICYMI: Texas spent more than $12m bussing migrants to New York and DC, documents show

The price tag of Texas Governor Greg Abbott’s much politicised campaign of sending migrants arriving on the southern border to Washington, DC and New York City has cost the state $12m, CNN reported.

Since the Republican governor announced the costly program in April, the Lone Star state has reportedly doled out $12,707,720.92 to Wynne Transportation, the charter service tasked with ferrying the recently arrived migrants to the sanctuary cities.

CNN uncovered the receipt for the controversy-stirring effort, which was once labelled as “kidnapping” by critics, by filing a Freedom of Information Request with the Texas Division of Emergency Management. The organization later confirmed that the state had spent the $12m on the program since its inception until 9 August.

Gov Abbott began bussing undocumented immigrants to the nation’s capital back in April. He reupped his pledge to upset politicians who have criticised his border policies by expanding that effort into New York City in August.

Read the full report from The Independent’s Johanna Chisholm below:


Tucker Carlson called for shipping migrants to Martha’s Vineyard two months ago, report

ICYMI: Months before Florida Gov Ron DeSantis dropped two planes carrying migrants on Martha’s Vineyard without notifying officials, Fox News pundit Tucker Carlson took to his platform to outline a plan that had hauntingly similar parallels to the governor’s now executed one.

“Joe Biden took 70 per cent of the vote on that small Massachusetts island,” he began in his 26 July program, as was highlighted on Twitter by Matt Gertz, a senior fellow at Media Matters. “So you probably imagine, Edgartown is pretty diverse,” he added, citing the town in Martha’s Vineyard where the Obamas have an estate.

“Edgartown is 95.7 per cent white,” he said aghast.

“They are begging for more diversity. Why not send migrants there, in huge numbers?” he suggested, stating that he’d begin with 300,000 and move up from there as the island got “stronger”.


DeSantis boasts about ‘innovative’ Martha’s Vineyard stint and calls residents ‘virtue signaling frauds’

ICYMI: Florida Gov Ron DeSantis did not shy away from boasting about his plot to send two planes filled with 50 Venezuelan migrants to Martha’s Vineyard in his first public remarks since Wednesday’s unannounced journey.

“We take what’s happening at the southern border very seriously – unlike some, and unlike the president of the United States, who has refused to lift a finger to secure that border,” the governor said Thursday.

“If you have folks that are inclined to think Florida’s a good place, our message to them is we are not a sanctuary state, and it’s better to be able to go to a sanctuary jurisdiction. And yes, we will help facilitate that transport for you to be able to go to greener pastures,” he said in his more than four and a half minute answer to the question.

“All those people in DC and New York were beating their chests when Trump was president saying they were so proud to be sanctuary jurisdictions, saying how bad it was to have a secure border. The minute even a small fraction of what those border towns deal with everyday is brought to their front door they all of a sudden go berserk and they’re so upset that this is happening and it just shows you, you know their virtue signalling is a fraud.”


Texas Governor’s office says White House ‘full of hypocrites’ led by ‘Hypocrite-in-Chief’

Texas governor Greg Abbott’s office has hit back after the White House said that Republican governors sending buses of migrants is “deeply alarming” and called it an “illegal stunt.”

In a statement to Fox News Digital Mr Abbott’s press secretary Renae Eze said: “The White House is full of a bunch of hypocrites, led by the Hypocrite-in-Chief who has been flying planeloads of migrants across the country and oftentimes in the cover of night.”

“Instead of their hypocritical complaints about Texas providing much-needed relief to our overrun and overwhelmed border communities, President Biden and Border Czar Harris need to step up and do their jobs to secure the border—something they continue failing to do,” she added.

Migrant buses sent by Texas Governor Greg Abbott arrived outside the vice president’s residence in Washington, DC

(Screenshot / Fox News)


Migrants on flights from Florida were told they were going to Boston, report says

ICYMI: The approximately 50 migrants who boarded two planes from Florida were reportedly informed that they were heading for Boston, not Martha’s Vineyard, which is where they touched down on Wednesday afternoon.

However, a number of migrants told NPR their flight originated in San Antonio, and that they were being transported to Boston.

NPR reported that a plane that originally began its journey in San Antonio made two pit stops, one in Florida and then another in South Carolina, before flying on to Martha’s Vineyard and landing at 3.15pm local time. Apart from that brief layover, the news outlet reported, the migrants NPR interviewed had not spent time in Florida.

According to some of the people interviewed by NPR on Wednesday night, they had originally been approached by a woman who identified herself as “Perla”. That woman came to the group, who were staying at a shelter in San Antonio, and lured them into boarding the plane, claiming that it would be landing in Boston where they would be able to get “expedited work papers”.

Those migrants said that the woman was still trying to recruit passengers for the flight just hours before it took off from the southern state.


ICYMI: Ron DeSantis signed bill aimed at keeping immigrants out of state

In June, Florida Gov Ron DeSantis signed a controversial bill into law that critics said is aimed at keeping immigrants out of the Sunshine State and activists say will seek to unjustly and unlawfully target immigrant communities.

Gov DeSantis, who is running for reelection in the fall is widely considered to be a contender for the 2024 presidential election, has been a vocal critic of President Joe Biden’s immigration policies.

As outlined in the legislation, all government agencies would be barred from doing business with transportation companies that bring immigrants to the state who are in the country illegally.

The bill also further blurs the line between local matters and federal control, as it requires every law enforcement agency that operates a county detention facility to enter into an agreement with Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE).

That agreement would require all local law enforcement officers to use their resources to carry out federal ICE duties, the bill stipulates.

Read more about the bill with The Independent below:

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