Florida flew 2 planes of migrants to Massachusetts

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. — Florida officials claim they flew two planes of around 50 migrants to Martha’s Vineyard in Massachusetts on Wednesday.

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According to The New York Times, local officials said the arrival of the 50 migrants was unexpected Wednesday.

The NYT said it was a tactic that Republican-led states are using in order to move loads of migrants from their states to Washington and New York as a form of protest for the rise in illegal immigration.

State Sen. Julian Cyr, a Democrat representing Cape Cod, Martha’s Vineyard and Nantucket, told the NYT that this group of migrants came in around 3 p.m. with children on board.

The NYT said the migrants got COVID-19 tests, food and clothing when they arrived, but there was a lot of confusion about who had sent them to Massachusetts. Migrants allegedly told officials that they had started in San Antonio on Wednesday.

Massachusetts Gov. Charlie Barker, a Republican, told The Associated Press that he was in contact with local officials and worked to provide short-term shelter for the migrants.

Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis’ communication director, Taryn Fenske, told the AP that the flights were part of moving migrants to “sanctuary destinations.” Desantis’ office didn’t share many details on the legal status of the migrants. According to the AP, migrants who cross the border illegally from Mexico are “temporarily shielded from deportation after being freed by the U.S. authorities to pursue asylum in immigration court.”

State Rep. Dylan Fernandes, a Democrat, on Twitter shared that Martha’s Vineyard jumped into action.

“Our island jumped into action putting together 50 beds, giving everyone a good meal, providing a play area for the children, making sure people have the healthcare and support they need. We are a community that comes together to support immigrants,” said Fernandes.

Texas Gov. Greg Abbott began relocating thousands of migrants to Washington in April and shortly after to New York and Chicago, according to the AP. Arizona Gov. Doug Ducey started transporting migrants to Washington in May. It is reported that the passengers must sign a waiver agreeing that the trips are voluntary. According to the AP, DeSantis took a new strategy by flying migrants instead of busing them and having them go to Martha’s Vineyard, which has had less of an impact on migrants.