Florida Gov. Desantis continues to defend sending migrants to Martha’s Vineyard

Flights were paid for using money in Florida budget

Florida Gov. DeSantis is again defending his decision to fly dozens of illegal migrants from Texas to Martha's Vineyard.

Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis continues to defend his decision to fly dozens of undocumented immigrants from Texas to Martha’s Vineyard.

The governor said state funds were used to fly about 50 migrants who were “intending to come to Florida.” The money was from a state “relocation program” approved by lawmakers to charter the flights.

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“So our view is you got to deal with it at the source,” DeSantis said during a news conference Friday in Daytona Beach. “And if they’re intending to come to Florida, or many of them are intending to come to Florida, that’s our best way to make sure that they end up in a sanctuary (jurisdiction).”

DeSantis said that Florida has not seen “any major movements of people into Florida.” The governor said the migrants on those flights were in Texas prior to arriving in Martha’s Vineyard, though they did land in Florida, where they were briefly. Two days after the flights, the group was moved from Martha’s Vineyard to a military base in Cape Cod.

During a speech at a campaign rally Sunday night in Wisconsin, DeSantis said that the move proves his point about the crisis border towns are facing right now.

“They called out the National Guard, and they had those illegals deported the next day,” he said. “... claiming to be sanctuary and all that, that was a way to virtue signal against Trump and do all this other stuff. They’re basically doing it so that they feel good, but they don’t want to actually have to deal with the consequences of the policies that they advocate for all of you.”

California Gov. Gavin Newsom, a Democrat who has publicly feuded with DeSantis over policy, asked the U.S. Department of Justice last week to investigate whether transporting migrants across state lines as “political props” broke the law.

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About the Author:

Brenda Argueta is a digital journalist who joined ClickOrlando.com in March 2021. She graduated from UCF and returned to Central Florida after working in Colorado.