Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis said during a press conference Friday that "there will be more" flights and buses of migrants to "sanctuary districts" across the country to protect the residents of his state from President Joe Biden's "reckless" southern border policies.
"I think what we are doing, [what] we need to do, is use every tool at our disposal to insulate the state of Florida from the negative ramifications of [Biden's] reckless border policies," DeSantis said in Daytona Beach, Florida, on Friday. "And that involves helping the transport; it involves suing on 'catch and release,' which we have done. It's involved making sure that contractors are held accountable if they're facilitating the north state. We have a statewide grand jury that's looking at different types of practices that may be going on in the state that's exacerbating the problem. At the end of the day, this is a massive policy failure by the president. This is a massive and intentional policy that is causing a huge amount of damage all across the country, and it's all rooted in the failure to take care that the laws are faithfully executed and to fulfill his oath of office."
DeSantis sent a group of about 50 illegal migrants to Martha's Vineyard in Massachusetts on Wednesday in a similar move to Texas Gov. Greg Abbott and Arizona Gov. Doug Ducey, who have sent buses and flights of illegal migrants from the border to Democratic-run cities like New York; Washington, D.C.; and Chicago, generating a firestorm of criticism from the mayors and other officials.
"[The illegal migrants] went from Texas to Florida to Martha's Vineyard on the flight. There's also going to be buses, and there will likely be more flights," DeSantis said. "I'll tell you this Legislature gave me $12 million; we're going to spend every penny of that to make sure that we're protecting the people of the state of Florida."
White House press secretary Karine Jean-Pierre called DeSantis' actions and those of the other border state governors "a cruel, premeditated, political stunt."
"Yesterday, two Republican governors [DeSantis and Abbott] reportedly lured 100 asylum seekers, including children, onto planes and buses with false premises, and then abandoned them on the side of a busy road, thousands of miles away with nothing," she told reporters at the White House Friday. "These were children; these were moms. They were fleeing communism, and what did Gov. DeSantis and Gov. Abbott do to them? They treated them like political pawns. They treated them like chattel in a cruel, premeditated, political stunt."
DeSantis, however, defended his actions by pointing to the numerous reports throughout the past year of the Biden administration flying and busing illegal migrants from the border throughout the country during the nighttime hours.
"Biden has sent midnight flights all around this country; they're complaining about one nice flight or two flights into Martha's Vineyard," DeSantis said. "[Biden] will dump people in the middle of the night without anybody knowing they got in Florida. We've done it in New York and done it in other parts of the country. ... [W]hat the federal government's been doing: They're just abandoning these people. These are people that are just kind of left high and dry. A lot of them are trying to hitchhike; some of them will pay smugglers to bring them into different states, including the state of Florida."
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