Initially perceived as a political gimmick, Republican governors’ efforts to bring migrants to Democratic strongholds have Democratic authorities scrambling as migrants arrive unexpectedly in more locations.
Fifty asylum-seekers, mainly from Venezuela, landed at Martha’s Vineyard, Massachusetts, on Wednesday. Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis’ office verified the flights. In recent months, Texas Gov. Greg Abbott and Arizona Gov. Doug Ducey put hundreds of asylum-seekers illegally crossing the southern border into their states on buses to Washington, D.C., New York, and Chicago.
Republican governors said they want to emphasize the burden migrants are making on state resources and give Democratic politicians a taste of their suffering for their pro-immigrant rhetoric and actions.
Mr. DeSantis said this Thursday in Niceville, Fla. His state was not a sanctuary state, and sanctuary states are preferable. We’ll assist you in going to brighter fields. On Thursday, Abbott said two buses transporting Texas migrants arrived at Vice President Kamala Harris’ official house in Washington, D.C. Abbott stated that the Biden-Harris Administration keeps ignoring and rejecting the historic catastrophe at our southern border.
White House spokeswoman Karine Jean-Pierre called the flight of refugees to Martha’s Vineyard a “cruel” political maneuver by Republican governors.
Other Democrats have called the excursions antics. There are actual implications, and weeks of constant arrivals have pushed them to cope with practical matters like feeding and housing people. Last week, D.C. Mayor Muriel Bowser declared a state of emergency, while Illinois Gov. J.B. Pritzker called in the National Guard.
New York City authorities say the city’s emergency-shelter system is “nearing its breaking point” after 11,000 asylum applicants arrived since May, 8,000 of whom are in shelters. A city spokeswoman claimed most asylum seekers came by bus from border states. Since early this year, Arizona has brought 1,800 migrants on 50 buses to Washington, costing roughly $4 million, the governor’s office said. Texas paid $13 million to transport 8,000 migrants to New York and Washington.
Mayor Eric Adams recently announced the creation of a new center near the Port Authority Bus Terminal in Midtown Manhattan, where four to six buses of migrants arrive daily. He promised migrants healthcare and other benefits, and we offer required services; Adams said it doesn’t matter if you came on the “Mayflower or a bus at the Port Authority.”
The number of migrants coming into Democratic cities is minuscule compared to the 5,000 who cross the border illegally every day into the U.S., of whom about half are permitted to stay to seek asylum claims.
Unlike northern cities, border towns have spent years creating a coordinated network of migrant shelters that get FEMA money and have expertise in helping migrants book tickets.
FEMA’s top officer coordinates with New York and Washington. The agency has given $2 million to Washington groups. Nongovernmental organizations near the border coordinate arrivals with New York, Washington, and Chicago.
Migrants allowed into the U.S. usually receive a court date many months later in the city they planned to go to. The court hearing is the first stage in a years-long procedure to request asylum or other safeguards. Immigration experts and officials believe the busing strategy coincides with a shift in migrant demography. Until last year, most asylum applicants traveled from Central America and stayed with family or friends. More recent migrants are traveling from South America or the Caribbean with no destination in mind, increasing the probability they may end up in homeless shelters.
Migrants who landed on Martha’s Vineyard on Wednesday had been in San Antonio. FlightAware.com says the jets left San Antonio at 8 a.m. CDT bound for Crestview, Fla. Two planes left for Spartanburg, S.C., and Charlotte, N.C. Both flights left the Carolinas for Massachusetts.
As they arrived, a filmmaker greeted the jets, and the clip was eventually transmitted to news organizations, said Martha’s Vineyard state Sen. Julian Cyr.
Beth Folcarelli, CEO of Martha’s Vineyard Community Services, announced at 3:45 p.m. that 48 Spanish-speaking migrants asked for aid at her organization’s entrance Wednesday. She claimed that each migrant arrived with a red packet providing her organization’s address. Migrants informed her they were headed to Boston, and she added that most have relatives or friends waiting in New York and Colorado. They gratefully accepted the help as their two-month journey was finally ending.
Lawyers for Civil Rights attorneys interviewed migrants in the church where they are staying on Thursday, said Executive Director Iván Espinoza-Madrigal. He added the team was investigating if the migrants believed there was a chance of fraud as most of the migrants thought they were going to Boston. Espinoza-Madrigal said the first observations are troubling.
A spokesperson for Massachusetts Gov. Charlie Baker said his administration would assist local efforts to house refugees. Mr. Baker said his government is seeking temporary refuge at a Cape Cod military installation.
Mr. DeSantis suggested sending illegal immigrants to Martha’s Vineyard. In December, It’s ‘tongue-in-cheek’ but accurate. If you moved them to Delaware or Martha’s Vineyard, the border would be secure tomorrow.