Migrant crisis – latest: DoJ asked to ‘investigate’ Ron DeSantis for kidnapping over Martha’s Vineyard stunt


‘Just plain wrong’: White House condemns migrant flight to Martha’s Vineyard

Florida Governor Ron DeSantis told a roomful of GOP donors at a fundraising event about his plans to send migrants to places like Martha’s Vineyard, days before elected officials in the Massachusetts town would receive two unannounced planes carrying 50 people from border communities.

“I do have this money. I want to be helpful. Maybe we will go to Texas and help. Maybe we’ll send to Chicago, Hollywood, Martha’s Vineyard. Who knows?” Mr DeSantis reportedly said during a speech on Friday.

Texas Governor Greg Abbott’s office said the White House is “full of a bunch of hypocrites, led by the Hypocrite-in-Chief who has been flying planeloads of migrants across the country and oftentimes in the cover of night.”

The statement came hours after the White House said Mr Abbott and Florida Governor Ron DeSantis’ use of migrants to punish leaders of Democratic-led state and local governments is a “deeply alarming” stunt that placed innocent children in danger to score political points.

Meanwhile, the cabinet heads are expected to meet Friday morning with immigration driving the conversation, which will include “litigation options” to respond to GOP governors sending migrants north of the border to other parts of the country, Axios reported.

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White House calls GOP governors’ migrant flights ‘deeply alarming’

ICYMI: The White House on Thursday said Texas Governor Greg Abbott and Florida Governor Ron DeSantis’ use of migrants to punish leaders of Democratic-led state and local governments is a “deeply alarming” stunt that placed innocent children in danger to score political points.

White House Press Secretary Karine Jean-Pierre told reporters that the two governors were disrupting the federal process for handling migrants and using the migrants as “political pawns”.

Andrew Feinberg has the story.

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Ken Burns says DeSantis’ actions come right from the ‘authoritarian playbook’

ICYMI: Documentarian Ken Burns compared Florida Governor Ron DeSantis’ actions on Wednesday as that of an authoritarian leader.

“It’s the abstraction of human life,” said Mr Burns while appearing on CNN to promote his new documentary, The U.S. and the Holocaust. The film focuses on America’s response to the Holocaust before, during, and after the Second World War.

“It’s basically saying that you can use a human life that is as valuable as yours or mine and to put it in the position of becoming a political pawn in somebody’s authoritarian game,” the famed documentarian said to CNN’s Jon Berman.

“This is coming straight out of the authoritarian playbook, this is what’s so disturbing about DeSantis is to use human beings to weaponise human beings for a politicla purpose,” he said.

“This is not the actions of a person participating in a Democratic process in which there’s an exchange of ideas this is about punishing political enemies,” he added.

Watch the full clip below:

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Democrats pushback against Abbott, DeSantis for migrant busing

For months, Republican governors in border states have been transporting recently arrived migrants onto buses heading north to Democratic states and localities. They argue that this relocation initiative is providing relief to the border communities that have become, as they say, overwhelmed by President Joe Biden’s immigration policies.

Democratic elected officials, however, view the tactic in wholly different light.

“Why send these folks only to blue cities or blue states? Why isn’t Abbott sending refugees to Mississippi or Oklahoma or Idaho?” Illinois Governor J B Pritzker asked at a press conference on Wednesday, according to The Hill.

“This is about politics for him without regard to the fear and anguish and the challenges that it poses for these refugees, but here in Illinois we refuse to stoop to that man’s level,” the Democratic governor continued, after giving the greenlight for state resources that will activate 75 members of the Illinois National Guard to assist.

“They were put on the buses with delicate medical conditions that no one in Texas seemed to care anything about,” Chicago Mayor Lori Lightfoot said to CNN on Saturday. “That is simply not right, and it’s un-American.”

Democratic senators in Massachusetts, specifically Ed Markey and Elizabeth Warren, both labelled the GOP governors’ decisions to transport human beings across state lines as political pawns a “cruel” move.

Massachusetts state Sen. Julian Cyr, a Democrat who represents Martha’s Vineyard, compared the governor’s decision to put migrants on a plane without telling them where they were going to the “Reverse Freedom Rides,” which were carried out by southern segregationists during the Civil Rights Movement to lure African Americans to northern cities.

“The fact that human beings are being trafficked for political benefits is abhorrent,” said Sen Cyr. “It also raises some real questions as to whether or not any laws have been broken here.”

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White House cabinet heads to discuss ‘litigation options’ in response to DeSantis, Abbott bussing migrants, report

Republican governors sending migrant buses and planes north in what the Biden White House has characterised as a “deeply alarming” political stunt have forced regularly scheduled meetings between high-ranking cabinet officials to explore “litigation options” to respond to the crisis, Axios reported.

According to the news outlet, cabinet heads and officials from departments of Homeland Security, State, Justice and Defense, are expected to meet Friday morning to discuss a range of issues, with immigration leading the conversation.

The meeting was planned before Governor Ron DeSantis sent two planes of migrants to Martha’s Vineyard and Governor Greg Abbott sent a bus carrying people from the border to park in front of Vice President Kamala Harris’ home in DC.

Details of what might be proposed in the meeting, according to the documents viewed by Axios, were not revealed, but it is expected to bring together some of the most senior officials, and secretaries, in relevant White House departments.

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California governor asks DoJ to probe ‘alleged fraudulent scheme’ to send migrants to Martha’s Vineyard

California Governor Gavin Newsom says he was appalled when he saw the images of migrant women, children and men being dropped off at Martha’s Vineyard on planes from Florida when news reports claimed many of them didn’t know where they’d be landing.

“This is absolutely sick — profiteering off of the trafficking of children sounds a whole lot like the business of coyotes,” wrote the Democratic governor on Twitter on Thursday night.

Gov Newsom found himself so moved by the actions of his Republican counterparts in southern states that he took to tapping the Department of Justice.

“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,” Gov Newsom write in a letter on 15 September 2022, that was addressed to Attorney General Merrick Garland.

Among the accusations levelled against Gov Ron DeSantis, the Californian politician – who has frequently staged himself as the polar opposite of the Conservative Floridian – included one that has been cited by several news outlets which claims that the migrants were lured onto the planes under false promises of jobs and housing.

“Several of the individuals who were transported to Martha’s Vineyard have alleged that a recruiter induced them to accept the offer of travel based on false representations that they would be transported to Boston and would receive expedited access to work authorization,” wrote Mr Newsom.

He also asked that the DoJ “investigate whether the alleged fraudulent inducement would support charges of kidnapping under relevant state laws.”

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DeSantis told Republican donors about his plans to send migrants to Martha’s Vineyard days before elected officials found out, report

At a private fundraising event held last weekend, Florida Governor Ron DeSantis boasted of a plot that would later dominate the 24-hour news cycle with images of confused migrants in Martha’s Vineyard and scatter local officials, who were not treated to the same tipoff that attendees at that Orlando meeting received.

According to The Washington Post, who spoke with two of the attendees on condition of anonymity, the Republican governor gave a rousing speech in Orlando over the weekend where he described plans to transport migrants to places like Martha’s Vineyard, Chicago and other northern cities that commonly known as sanctuary jurisdictions.

“I do have this money. I want to be helpful. Maybe we will go to Texas and help. Maybe we’ll send to Chicago, Hollywood, Martha’s Vineyard. Who knows?” Mr DeSantis reportedly said to a roomful of applause in a speech delivered on Friday evening at the Four Seasons in Orlando, less than a week before the two planes would land in Martha’s Vineyard carrying 50 migrants from border communities.

The room in the Orlando hotel reception hall was reportedly bustling with some of the Republican party’s top donors, who had all gathered to hear the right-leaning politician deliver what attendees told The Post was a clear outline of what his platform issues would be in a potential 2024 presidential run.

At one point, the Mr DeSantis highlighted the work of other Republican governors who had been carrying out similar bussing relocation efforts in their states, specifically calling out Texas Governor Greg Abbott’s buses to DC, Chicago and New York as “brilliant.”

“I think it’s been very effective,” he said of flooding liberal cities with migrants.

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Video: Buses carrying migrants arrive outside Kamala Harris’ home in DC

ICYMI: Video footage from social media shows the scene as two buses carrying migrants from Texas, as directed by the state’s governor, Greg Abbott, arrive outside the home of Vice-President Kamala Harris in Washington, DC.

Watch the clip below here:

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ICYMI: Texas spent more than $12m bussing migrants to New York and DC, documents show

The price tag of Texas Governor Greg Abbott’s much politicised campaign of sending migrants arriving on the southern border to Washington, DC and New York City has cost the state $12m, CNN reported.

Since the Republican governor announced the costly program in April, the Lone Star state has reportedly doled out $12,707,720.92 to Wynne Transportation, the charter service tasked with ferrying the recently arrived migrants to the sanctuary cities.

CNN uncovered the receipt for the controversy-stirring effort, which was once labelled as “kidnapping” by critics, by filing a Freedom of Information Request with the Texas Division of Emergency Management. The organization later confirmed that the state had spent the $12m on the program since its inception until 9 August.

Gov Abbott began bussing undocumented immigrants to the nation’s capital back in April. He reupped his pledge to upset politicians who have criticised his border policies by expanding that effort into New York City in August.

Read the full report from The Independent’s Johanna Chisholm below:

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Tucker Carlson called for shipping migrants to Martha’s Vineyard two months ago, report

ICYMI: Months before Florida Gov Ron DeSantis dropped two planes carrying migrants on Martha’s Vineyard without notifying officials, Fox News pundit Tucker Carlson took to his platform to outline a plan that had hauntingly similar parallels to the governor’s now executed one.

“Joe Biden took 70 per cent of the vote on that small Massachusetts island,” he began in his 26 July program, as was highlighted on Twitter by Matt Gertz, a senior fellow at Media Matters. “So you probably imagine, Edgartown is pretty diverse,” he added, citing the town in Martha’s Vineyard where the Obamas have an estate.

“Edgartown is 95.7 per cent white,” he said aghast.

“They are begging for more diversity. Why not send migrants there, in huge numbers?” he suggested, stating that he’d begin with 300,000 and move up from there as the island got “stronger”.

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DeSantis boasts about ‘innovative’ Martha’s Vineyard stint and calls residents ‘virtue signaling frauds’

ICYMI: Florida Gov Ron DeSantis did not shy away from boasting about his plot to send two planes filled with 50 Venezuelan migrants to Martha’s Vineyard in his first public remarks since Wednesday’s unannounced journey.

“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,” the governor said Thursday.

“If you have folks that are inclined to think Florida’s a good place, our message to them is we are not a sanctuary state, and it’s better to be able to go to a sanctuary jurisdiction. And yes, we will help facilitate that transport for you to be able to go to greener pastures,” he said in his more than four and a half minute answer to the question.

“All those people in DC and New York were beating their chests when Trump was president saying they were so proud to be sanctuary jurisdictions, saying how bad it was to have a secure border. The minute even a small fraction of what those border towns deal with everyday is brought to their front door they all of a sudden go berserk and they’re so upset that this is happening and it just shows you, you know their virtue signalling is a fraud.”

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