(The Center Square) – The state of Florida has begun flying foreign nationals who entered the U.S. illegally at the southern border – and were transported by the Biden administration to Florida – north to Martha’s Vineyard in Massachusetts.
Delaware, New York and California are likely next, according to statements made by Gov. Ron DeSantis and his staff.
Two planes arrived in Martha’s Vineyard on Wednesday, where one of former President Barack Obama’s multi-million dollar mansions is located. The flights fulfilled a pledge DeSantis made last fall after dozens of federally funded charter planes transported people who’d entered the U.S. illegally through the southern border to Florida instead of deporting them. Florida sued over the policy, and over the administration’s catch and release and other immigration and border security policies.
DeSantis also signed a bill into law prohibiting state agencies from contracting with companies transporting people from the border to Florida. He also vowed to relocate those arriving from the border after Floridians were allegedly being murdered by men DeSantis said shouldn’t have been in the state in the first place.
“If he sends a caravan [of illegal immigrants] to Florida,” DeSantis said of the president, “we’re rerouting it to places like Delaware and other sanctuary states.”
The Florida legislature earlier this year allocated $12 million to the state Department of Transportation to transport illegal foreign nationals out of Florida. Funds became available July 1.
DeSantis’ communications director Taryn Fenske first issued a statement to Fox News Digital confirming the two planes that arrived in Martha’s Vineyard were part of Florida’s “relocation program to transport illegal immigrants to sanctuary destinations.
“States like Massachusetts, New York and California will better facilitate the care of these individuals who they have invited into our country by incentivizing illegal immigration through their designation as ‘sanctuary states’ and support for the Biden administration’s open border policies.”
The office of Massachusetts’ Republican Gov. Charlie Baker said local officials were providing short-term shelter.
“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,” state Rep. Dylan Fernandes, D-Martha’s Vineyard, tweeted. “We are a community that comes together to support immigrants.”
Fernandes also said, “Currently immigrants are being dropped off on Martha’s Vineyard by chartered flights from Texas. Many don’t know where they are. They say they were told they would be given housing and jobs. Islanders we’re given no notice but are coming together as a community to support them.”
DeSantis’ campaign manager Christina Pushaw responded: “There may be space at the Obama’s mansion for a few dozen illegal aliens. Maybe go check on that.”
The governor’s office also confirmed that all passengers are required to sign waivers indicating they understand where they are going and are voluntarily choosing to be flown there at no cost to them.
Martha’s Vineyard’s Island Wide Regional Emergency Management also issued a statement Wednesday saying, “approximately 50 individuals, to the best of our knowledge originating from Venezuela, landed at the Martha’s Vineyard Airport, seeking shelter.”
Town Emergency Management Operations from the six Island towns, the Sheriff’s Office, and County Management are “actively collaborating to develop a coordinated regional response,” it said. “Two emergency shelters have been established at local Island churches, with additional space available in case further arrivals occur.” They also “reached out to our State and Federal partners for additional and long term support and assistance.”
Martha’s Vineyard Times misreported that Texas had chartered the planes.
Texas Gov. Greg Abbott has sent illegal foreign nationals who signed waivers to be bused to the so-called sanctuary cities of Washington, D.C., New York City and Chicago. Texas has transported more than 10,000 people to the three cities and will continue to do so until the president secures the border, Abbott says.
While Martha’s Vineyard is receiving groups of 50 people at a time, roughly 5,000 are being apprehended a day in Texas by federal agents. This excludes an untold number who evade capture and enter the U.S. illegally known as “gotaways.”
Arizona Gov. Doug Ducey has also transported thousands to Washington, D.C.
The mayor of Washington, D.C., and the governor of Illinois have since declared a disaster, roughly 17 months after Texas counties began issuing disaster declarations in response to Biden administration policies reversing federal immigration law. Abbott also issued a disaster declaration last May.
Nearly 5 million people have been apprehended or evaded capture after entering the U.S. illegally since President Joe Biden took office, totaling more than the individual populations of 25 states.
Since July 5, 29 Texas counties and one city, the Texas Public Policy Foundation, and Republican Party of Texas have all declared an invasion at the southern border and called on Abbott to use his full constitutional authority to “repel the invasion.”
A majority of Americans polled say the U.S. is being invaded at the southern border.