A near majority of Florida voters back Gov. Ron DeSantis in his decision to transport migrants to places such as Martha’s Vineyard, a new Spectrum News-Sienna College poll shows.
The poll found that 49% of likely Florida voters support sending illegal immigrants to other states, while 44% do not. Nearly 90% of Republican and 50% of independent Florida voters support the action, versus just 10% of Democrats.
DeSantis flew 50 migrants to Martha’s Vineyard, a luxury island community off the coast of Massachusetts last month and was slammed by Democrats, including former presidential candidate Hillary Clinton, who called DeSantis’ move a form of “human trafficking.”
Despite polling data to the contrary, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi claimed on Friday that Floridians want the migrants to stay to bring in the crops.
“You see even in Florida, some of the farmers and the growers are saying, ‘Why are you shipping these immigrants up North? We need them to pick the crops down here,’” Pelosi said.
Taken after DeSantis sent the migrants to Massachusetts, the new poll found that the Republican governor is still ahead of Democrat challenger Rep. Charlie Crist, 49% to 41%, in Florida’s gubernatorial race.
In fiscal year 2022, there were 2.1 million border crossings; more than 200,000 illegal immigrants crossed the southern border in August alone.
In addition to DeSantis, Texas Gov. Greg Abbott and Arizona Gov. Doug Ducey, both Republicans, have been sending migrants to Democrat-run cities and states, including Washington, D.C.; Martha’s Vineyard, Chicago and New York. The governors have said they are doing so to make the leadership of blue states understand the everyday struggle of border communities overwhelmed by migrants.
El Paso, Texas Mayor Oscar Leeser, a Democrat, has also been transporting migrants north, The Daily Wire reports, but has not been criticized by fellow Democrats. Leeser and El Paso’s Democrat-controlled city council have sent almost 30 buses of migrants to New York City in the past month and are seeking reimbursement from the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) for the costs.
The poll was conducted from Sept. 18-25 and surveyed 669 likely Florida voters. It has a margin of error of plus or minus 4.5 percentage points.
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