TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (WFLA) — While immigrants continue to flood across the border, Gov. Ron DeSantis took charge, sending two planes filled with migrants to Martha’s Vineyard Wednesday night.
“But even people across the border, there’s a lot that say they want to come to Florida, so, our message is, you know, we’re not a sanctuary state, we don’t have benefits or any of that.“ DeSantis said.
Charlie Crist, the Democratic candidate for governor, capitalized on the news to criticize his opponent.
“When you are this inhumane in how you treat human beings you’re not qualified to be governor of anything. It’s amazing to me what he is willing to do to use people for political gain,” Crist said.
This move was expected after months of the governor hinting he would mirror other Republican governors who’ve sent migrants to prominent cities in response to President Joe Biden’s border policies.
“We take what’s happening at the southern border very seriously, unlike some, and unlike the President of the United States who has refused to lift a finger to secure that border,” DeSantis said.
The governor’s office released a statement last night, “Florida can confirm the two planes with illegal immigrants that arrived in Martha’s Vineyard were part of the state’s relocation program to transport illegal immigrants to sanctuary destinations.”
The program the governor’s office is referring to was approved by Florida lawmakers last legislative session and they set aside 12 million dollars for the effort.
Tampa-based immigration lawyer Arturo Rios told 8 On Your Side that this move out of the governor’s office could be devastating for the undocumented immigrants.
“From the immigration law standpoint, there is absolutely no logic to this. It’s purely a political stunt. It is inhumane and you’re playing with people’s lives, with their psyches and with their safety,” Rios said.