Table of Contents
Ron DeSantis sends illegal immigrants to Martha’s Vineyard
1. Our Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis
Our Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis followed through on his promise to drop off illegal immigrants in progressive states, sending two planes full of migrants to Martha’s Vineyard on Wednesday.
“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 Fox News Digital.
“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,” she said.
2. Illegal immigrants
Illegal immigrants arrive at Martha’s Vineyard Airport in Massachusetts on Sept. 14, 2022. (Video obtained by Fox News)
“As you may know, in this past legislative session the Florida legislature appropriated $12 million to implement a program to facilitate the transport of illegal immigrants from this state consistent with federal law,” she added.
The office of Massachusetts Gov. Charlie Baker responded to an after-hours email from Fox News Digital, saying it was aware of the situation and that the arrivals were provided short-term shelter.
3. The Baker-Polito
“The Baker-Polito Administration is in touch with local officials regarding the arrival of migrants in Martha’s Vineyard,” Terry MacCormack, Baker’s press secretary, wrote. “At this time, short-term shelter services are being provided by local officials, and the Administration will continue to support those efforts.”
Florida’s budget since approved by the state legislature included $12 million for the Florida Department of Transportation to remove illegal immigrants from the state and relocate them.
Illegal immigrants arrive at Martha’s Vineyard Airport in Massachusetts on Sept. 14, 2022. (Video provided to Fox News Digital)
Martha’s Vineyard is famously known as a playground of rich progressives, including former President Barack Obama, who bought a multimillion-dollar house there in 2019.
DeSantis, a Republican, proposed Delaware or Martha’s Vineyard as a destination for such migrants, but his office explained at the time that they could also be sent “to other ‘progressive’ states whose governors endorse blatant violations of federal immigration law.”
“It is not the responsibility of Floridians to subsidize aliens to reside in our state unlawfully; we did not consent to Biden’s open-borders agenda,” the governor’s office said at the time.
In November, DeSantis said dozens of migrant flights landed in Florida at the behest of the Biden administration, and he threatened at that time to send them to Delaware on buses.
Gov. Ron DeSantis speaks to supporters at a campaign stop on the Keep Florida Free Tour at the Horsepower Ranch in Geneva, Florida, on Aug. 24, 2022. (Paul Hennessy/SOPA Images/LightRocket via Getty Images)
Meanwhile, Texas Gov. Greg Abbott, a Republican, began sending thousands of illegal immigrants to Washington, D.C., in April as the migrant crisis overwhelmed border states. In August, buses from Texas started heading to New York City and Chicago. Arizona has also sent buses to Washington.
4. Vice President Kamala Harris
Vice President Kamala Harris, who was put in charge of tackling the border crisis by President Biden shortly after they assumed office in 2021, sparked a firestorm this week after she twice declared the U.S. southern border is “secure” while administration officials estimate an average of 55,000 so-called “gotaways” each month — illegal immigrants who successfully make it into the country without being detained.
Kyle Morris, Adam Shaw, Jon Brown, and Matteo Cina contributed to this report.
As Texas sends thousands of migrants to sanctuary cities, liberal mayors scramble to respond
By Adam Shaw
5. Texas has been ramping up
Texas has been ramping up pressure on Washington, D.C., and more recently on New York City and Chicago, for months as it sends thousands of illegal immigrants to those sanctuary cities’ doorsteps, forcing the city’s mayors to find new ways to respond to what they have dubbed an emergency.
Texas Gov. Greg Abbott began sending thousands of illegal immigrants to the nation’s capital in April as the migrant crisis overwhelmed border states. In August, buses from Texas started heading to New York City and, in the last week, Chicago. Arizona has also sent buses to Washington.
The moves sparked anger from the liberal mayors of those cities as well as the White House, which has condemned the move as cruel and a political stunt. The Texas governor’s office this week said it has sent nearly 8,000 migrants to Washington, over 2,000 to New York City and just over 300 to Chicago.
But the bussing of the migrants, even though they only make up a fraction of those being encountered every month by states along the southern border, has appeared to panic officials in those cities.
The sanctuary cities — they limit cooperation with federal immigration officials — have taken aim primarily at Abbott but have also put pressure on the federal government to step up and provide help. Washington, D.C., Mayor Muriel Bowser on Thursday declared a public emergency, having previously declared the situation a “humanitarian crisis.”
Bowser said that the dramatic move allows the city to create an Office of Migrant Services to provide migrants with accommodation, health care, transportation and other services.
“We’re putting in place a framework that would allow us to have a coordinated response with our partners,” Bowser said Thursday. “This will include a program to meet all buses, and given that most people will move on, our primary focus is to make sure we have a humane, efficient, welcome process that will allow people to move on to their final destination.”
She blasted the federal government for a “lacking” response and said the move was necessary to make sure Washington’s safety net is not “broken by a crisis that is certainly not of our making.”
7. Earlier this week
Earlier this week, New York City Mayor Eric Adams sent a delegation to the border, where they met with Border Patrol officials in Eagle Pass, Texas, near the Rio Grande. A source familiar with the visit told Fox News that the delegation’s trip included a tour of Customs and Border Protection’s (CBP) new temporary processing center in Eagle Pass, which is packed with migrants and can house up to 1,000 people.
In a statement, Adams’ office accused Abbott’s office of being “unresponsive” and turning the situation “into a political sideshow.”
Migrants arrive in Chicago from Texas
“We’ve sent members of the team down on a fact-finding mission to hear directly from folks on the ground along the southern border and get the real answers we’re not getting from Texas, including whether they are sending asylum seekers to New York City even if they prefer to go elsewhere,” press secretary Fabian Levy said in a statement.
“Here in New York, we will continue to welcome asylum seekers with open arms, as we learn more about the process, meet with real partners and see, firsthand, the reportedly inhumane conditions in which asylum seekers are being subjected to by the state of Texas.”
Abbott has said that his moves are designed to both relieve overwhelmed border communities and also to draw attention to the raging crisis at the southern border, where more than 2 million migrants have been encountered this fiscal year.
8. Brandon Judd
Brandon Judd, president of the National Border Patrol Council, told Fox News Digital that the visit by Adams’ team was a sign that Abbott’s gambit is working.
“It absolutely is a sign that it’s working. And frankly, I’m glad that Mayor Adams is opening his mouth, because when he does that, he’s bringing more attention to the issue. And as more attention gets brought to the issue, there’s a better chance that we’re going to get a change, because the vast majority of the American people do not want an open border,” Judd said.
Judd also said he hoped the visit would show to Adams’ team that “there is a crisis on the border that is driven by policy.”
“That’s what we would hope that they would recognize,” he said. “I don’t think they’re going to because that goes against their own party’s talking points. But we would hope that they would recognize the truth. And the truth is this illegal immigration crisis is caused by policy and it’s caused by this White House.”
In Chicago, where just a few hundred migrants have moved, Mayor Lori Lightfoot accused Abbott of “manufacturing a human crisis” but stressed the city would help the migrants.
“We are a welcoming city,” Lightfoot said. “We are always going to step up and do the right thing to make sure that migrants coming into our city are well received, that they’re supported.” She also stressed the need for “any assistance we can get from the federal government.”
9. As all three liberal cities
As all three liberal cities push the federal government to step up, while also sounding the alarm about the stresses they face, former Trump DHS officials said they too believed that Abbott’s strategy is paying off.
“I think what Gov. Abbott has done successfully is create a national conversation on this,” former acting Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) Director Thomas Homan told Fox News Digital. “And he called out people who wanted to declare themselves a sanctuary city for political purposes — but when they’re called on it, they’re in a panic.”
New York City Mayor Eric Adams, left, and Texas Gov. Greg Abbott have feuded over immigration. (Getty Images)
Ken Cuccinelli, former acting deputy secretary of Homeland Security, told Fox that the bussing is creating political pressure on the White House, particularly with just a few months until the midterms.
“The major outcome of it that they’ve got to hate is that — I’ll talk about it in the polling terms — it’s staying high on people’s issue radar,” he said. “The economy is No. 1, and it should be because it’s frankly destroying so many people’s lives. But this isn’t fading away, and it’s been elevated [by the bussing].”
Cuccinelli accused the mayors of being “politically stupid” with their public reactions to the buses.
“It is a level of political stupidity that astonishes me, and I don’t think the White House … I think they just assumed their own team would be smarter than this.”
Mark Morgan, former acting Customs and Border Protection (CBP) commissioner,believes there are frantic conversations within the administration.
“There’s no doubt in my mind that CBP, DHS and the White House, they’re having conversations, because when I was commissioner, I had the same conversations with [Cuccinelli] and the White House when issues like this came up,” Morgan said. “So there’s no doubt in my mind that those three entities are scrambling, trying to figure out from a legal perspective how they could stop [Abbott] from bussing these individuals.”
So far, there has been so indication from Texas that the buses will stop. Abbott said last week that Texas “will continue providing relief to our small, overrun border towns by bussing migrants to sanctuary cities that boast services to care for them.”