By Jessica Easthope
“Our message to them is we are not a sanctuary state,” said Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis, Thursday. “And it’s better to go to a sanctuary jurisdiction and we will help facilitate that transport for you.”
Governor Ron DeSantis doubling down, reiterating Florida is not the place for migrants and criticizing President Biden.
“We take what’s happening at the southern border very seriously, unlike some, unlike the President of the United States who has refused to lift a finger to secure that border,” he said.
This comes after DeSantis sent a group of Venezuelan migrants to Martha’s Vineyard.
“Martha’s Vineyard community Services had 50 people sort of literally walk up to their front door,’ said Barbara Rush, the warden of St. Andrew’s Episcopal Church.
For unsuspecting residents of Martha’s Vineyard, that’s when the calamity began.
But for the 50 men, women and children flown there, none of whom spoke English – the trip began much earlier and much farther away.
“From what we found out talking to the people they’re originally from Venezuela. They were flown here. We’re Not sure what plane brought them here – how they got on a plane to here. They did tell us they came from Texas,” said Rush.
There was no welcoming party, so the group wandered some three and a half miles to Martha’s Vineyard Community Services in Edgartown.
“Immigrants who were told they’d be greeted here with a place to stay, with jobs,” said state representative Dylan Fernandes.
The group includes some elderly people, and some children as well.
“They’re using children as political pawns, but the island community has really rallied together,” said Fernandes.
All the migrants tested negative for COVID, and were given food, water and shelter for the night. A harrowing journey made somewhat better by a community that stepped up in a moment of need.
“It’s all hands on deck of the community. Really beautiful to see the community coming together to try to help,” Rush said.
DeSantis’ move follows in the footsteps of republican governors Greg Abbott of Texas and Doug Ducey of Arizona. They have been sending migrants to Washington, D.C., New York, and Chicago.