The DeSantis administration has debunked some of the wild talking points claiming that the Republican governor “kidnapped” migrants by shipping them to the wealthy liberal enclave of Martha’s Vineyard last week.
Speaking to reporters on Monday, the officials said that migrants were well taken care of ahead of their flight to Martha’s Vineyard and that they were offered a chance to withdraw from the journey on several occasions. They were also reportedly found “wandering the border” in Texas with no home and very little food.
“So the groups in Texas that we’ve identified, the majority if not all of the individuals that originated in Texas and ended up on the flight to Martha’s Vineyard were indeed homeless, hungry, sleeping outside in parking lots,” officials said.
“Many have been in a shelter at some point previously and had been kicked out, did not have a place to go, and essentially we’re wandering homeless along the border,” they added.
The administration also asserts that the migrants were offered hotels, meals, and grooming services in the days leading up to the trip.
“During the flights, individuals were given bags with snacks, with water and other provisions and information taken from the Massachusetts website that talks about benefits that are available in a sanctuary state,” the administration said.
A common talking point in the media was that the DeSantis administration somehow lured the migrants onto the flights by promising them jobs, but according to the officials, the migrants were simply informed of the benefits that awaited them in a so-called “sanctuary state” like Massachusetts.
“These were homeless people that were in a rough situation and undoubtedly had their circumstance improved,” the officials said. “In fact, several have already communicated their thanks for the opportunity to go to the sanctuary state.”
Last week, a Spanish reporter with Telemundo even told MSNBC that the migrants were not angry with DeSantis and were even thankful that he sent them to Martha’s Vineyard.
“I can tell you they are not angry at Ron DeSantis, they are actually thanking him for having brought them to Martha’s Vineyard, where they were very well-received,” the reporter said.
Nonetheless, Democrats have since been pushing the absurd talking point that DeSantis “kidnapped” the migrants in order to use them as political pawns.
“Like millions of Americans, I have been horrified at the images of migrants being shipped on buses and planes across the country to be used as political props,” Democrat California Gov. Gavin Newsom wrote on Thursday. “Clearly, transporting families, including children, across state lines under false pretenses is morally reprehensible, but it may also be illegal.”
“I strongly urge the U.S. Department of Justice (US DOJ) to open an investigation into possible criminal or civil violations of federal law based on this alleged fraudulent scheme,” he added.
Speaking to reporters in Martha’s Vineyard near the shelter where migrants were being housed, immigration attorney Rachel Self also accused DeSantis of “kidnapping” the migrants by sending them to an island where millionaires vacation.
NEW: Immigration attorney Rachel Self is here at St. Anthony’s Church on Martha’s Vineyard and has been interviewing Venezuelan migrants about how they got here. She calls the entire ordeal “kidnapping.” #WBZ pic.twitter.com/Rs5NfI49WP
— Kristina Rex (@KristinaRex) September 15, 2022