Migrants sent by Ron DeSantis to Martha’s Vineyard thought they were headed to Boston

Barack Obama owns a $12m estate on the exclusive island off coast of Massachusetts

Graeme Massie
Los Angeles
Thursday 15 September 2022 16:19 BST
Related video: New poll shows DeSantis with edge over Crist in governor’s race
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Florida governor Ron DeSantis has sent two planes of undocumented migrants to Martha’s Vineyard, an exclusive island off the coast of Massachusetts where Barack Obama owns a mansion.

The migrants could be seen getting off the planes at the island’s airport on Wednesday in a video obtained by Fox News Digital.

“Yes, Florida can confirm the two planes with illegal immigrants that arrived in Martha’s Vineyard today were part of the state’s relocation program to transport illegal immigrants to sanctuary destinations,” the governor’s communications director, Taryn Fenske, told the right-wing news organisation.

“States like Massachusetts, New York, and California will better facilitate the care of these individuals who they have invited into our country by incentivising illegal immigration through their designation as ‘sanctuary states’ and support for the Biden Administration’s open border policies.”

Follow live coverage of the controversy here

A number of the migrants told National Public Radio that they thought were travelling to Boston to receive work papers.

Florida’s Republican-controlled state legislature has handed the governor $12m to remove migrants from the state and transport them elsewhere.

Mr DeSantis has previously threatened to send migrants to Joe Biden’s home state of Delaware, while Mr Obama bought his $12m estate on the island in 2019.

The Independent has reached out to the office of Massachusetts Governor Charlie Baker for comment.

Mr DeSantis, who is reportedly eyeing a 2024 presidential campaign, is not the only Republican politician to carry out such a publicity stunt.

Texas Governor Greg Abbott, also a Republican, has been sending busloads of migrants to Washington DC since April. He has also authorised buses going to New York City and Chicago.

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