Gov. DeSantis, Rep. Crist responds to immigrant flight to Martha’s Vineyard

Gov. DeSantis, Rep. Crist responds to immigrant flight to Martha’s Vineyard
Published: Sep. 15, 2022 at 5:55 PM EDT
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NICEVILLE, Fla. (WCJB) - Immigration has become a campaign issue in the Florida governor’s race after the state sent two planes of immigrants to Massachusetts.

On Wednesday, two surprise flights containing about 50 immigrants, paid for by the state of Florida, were sent to Martha’s Vineyard, a high-end vacation destination off the coast of Massachusetts.

During a press conference in the Panhandle on Thursday, Gov. Ron DeSantis was asked about the decision to use taxpayer funds to send the migrants to other states. He criticized President Joe Biden’s immigration policies.

“If you have folks inclined to think Florida is a good place, our message to them is we are not a sanctuary state,” DeSantis said. “It’s better to be able to go to a sanctuary jurisdiction. Yes, we will help facilitate that transport for you to go to greener pastures.”

DeSantis explains why Florida sent immigrants to Matha's Vineyard

Rep. Charlie Crist who is challenging DeSantis in November to be Florida’s next governor criticized the flights which he called “inhumane.”

“When you are this inhumane in how you treat human beings you are not qualified to be governor of anything,” Crist said. “It’s amazing to me what he is willing to do for sheer political gain, to use people in this horrific way.”

Crist acknowledged allegations that the immigrants sent to Martha’s Vineyard may have been misled into agreeing to take the flight. The Florida Legislature has earmarked $12 million for moving “unauthorized aliens” out of state.

On Thursday, Texas Gov. Greg Abbott announced the arrival of two buses of migrants from Texas outside Harris’ residence at the United States Naval Observatory. They carried more than 100 migrants from Colombia, Cuba, Guyana, Nicaragua, Panama, and Venezuela.

Gainesville Mayor Lauren Poe weighed in the debate asking the governor to send immigrants to Gainesville.

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