Migrants crisis live: DeSantis could face DoJ investigation as mother dies in NYC shelter

Related video: More Migrants Arrive In D.C. As White House Slams Republican Governors

Democratic officials and immigration activists have condemned Florida Governor Ron DeSantis for organising flights with migrants from Texas to Martha’s Vineyard as a dangerous political stunt, alleging that the migrants were coerced to board the planes with false promises of financial and employment assistance.

Lawyers for migrants have called for the US attorney in Boston and the Massachusetts attorney general to open a criminal investigation, arguing the migrants “were induced to board airplanes and cross state lines under false pretenses.”

US Attorney Rachael Rollins has asked for the US Department of Justice to respond to a request for a potential inquiry.

Meanwhile, a mother seeking asylum in the US died by suicide while staying in a New York City shelter on Sunday, according to officials. It was not immediately clear whether she was among a group of migrants recently bused to the city from Texas, but Mayor Eric Adams said she was “traumatized by this whole experience” and that the “failure was the governors that sent people on multi-day bus rides.”


Welcome to The Independent’s live blog coverage of the migrant crisis

Welcome to the live blog of The Independent’s coverage of the unfolding migrant crisis in Martha’s Vineyard and Washington, DC.

Follow along here for live updates.


Ron DeSantis sends two planes of undocumented migrants to Martha’s Vineyard

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.

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

Many of the 50 migrants who touched down at the airport on the popular vacation island had reportedly no clue where they were heading before taking off from Florida and still had no idea where they had landed, CBS reports.

They had reportedly been informed that wherever they were heading there would be jobs and housing available to them, the news outlet continued.

Read the full report from my colleague Graeme Massie below:


Texas sends two buses of migrants to Kamala Harris’s home

Two migrant buses sent by Texas Governor Greg Abbott carrying between 75 and 100 people have arrived outside the home of Vice President Kamala Harris in Washington, DC.

The buses arrived on Thursday morning after setting off from Del Rio, Texas, according to Fox News Digital.

The Naval Observatory, the vice president’s designated residence since 1974, is located in northwest Washington, DC.

The migrants were picked up in Eagle Pass, which, like Del Rio, is situated along the border with Mexico.

Fox News Digital reported that the migrants came from Venezuela, Uruguay, Colombia, and Mexico. The conservative outlet claimed that some of the migrants said they believe the border is open.

Keep reading the full briefing from my colleague Graeme Massie here:


Mike Pompeo laughs off migrants being shipped to sanctuary cities

Former Secretary of State Mike Pompeo laughed off the undocumented migrants who arrived in Martha’s Vineyard and Washington, DC this week.

Fox host Jesse Watters was discussing the latest developments with the former secretary of state during a Wednesday night broadcast, and pointed out how the popular vacation destination is home to many left-leaning celebrities, including former President Barack Obama, Rosie O’Donnell and Jay-Z and Beyonce.

“Do you think they’re going to be embracing their new neighbours,” the Fox News host asked his guest.

“You know these are all sanctuary cities until they’re in their sanctuary,” the former Trump aide said, before stifling back some chuckles. “I doubt they’ll embrace them,” who recently announced his intentions for a potential presidential run in 2024.


DeSantis created ‘urgent humanitarian’ situation, authorities say

Late in the night Wednesday, authorities on Martha’s Vineyard were still scrambling to respond to the unannounced planes from Florida that had dropped off 50 undocumented migrants on the Massachusetts island earlier that afternoon.

“There was no advance notice to anyone in Martha’s Vineyard or Massachusetts that these migrants were arriving, to my knowledge,” said Julian Cyr, a state senator.

Dukes County, the second-least populous county in Massachusetts, announced on Twitter that they’d activated emergency shelters, which are typically only opened during natural disasters like hurricanes and flooding.

“Due to an unexpected urgent #humanitarian situation, #DCEMA are opening #Emergency #Shelters tonight on #MarthasVineyard. If you’re willing & able to volunteer in a clinical or non-clinical role, contact @DukesOffice at 508-684-8015,” the emergency management association tweeted on Wednesday night.


DeSantis threatens to fly in ‘a few thousand more’ migrants into Martha’s Vineyard

Florida Governor Ron DeSantis has threatened to fly in “a few thousand more” undocumented migrants to Martha’s Vineyard.

Christina Pushaw, the rapid response director for Mr DeSantis’s re-election campaign, challenged officials on the exclusive island off the coast of Massachusetts to take more migrants from Florida.


DeSantis boasts about his ‘innovative’ Martha’s Vineyard flight of migrants despite widespread criticism

Florida Governor Ron DeSantis boasted about his “innovative” strategy of sending two planes full of Venezuelan migrants to Martha’s Vineyard, Massachusetts.

“We are not a sanctuary state, and it’s better to be able to go to a sanctuary jurisdiction,” Mr DeSantis said at an event. “And yes, we will help facilitate that transport for you to be able to go to greener pastures.”


JFK Library tweets about DeSantis migrant flights

The presidential library of the 35th president tweeted an article about “Reverse Freedom Rides” once offered by southern states to Black Americans.

“To embarrass Northern liberals and humiliate Black people, southern White Citizens Councils started their so-called “Reverse Freedom Rides,” giving Black people one-way tickets to northern cities with false promises of jobs, housing, and better lives,” the library tweeted.


Opinion: What insiders say about Ron DeSantis standing for president in 2024

Ron DeSantis is slated as a likely contender for the Republican ticket in the 2024 presidential election. One of the firebrand governor’s selling platforms is his hardline approach to immigration. Frequently in his speeches, he’s floated a line about busing immigrants to Delaware.

With the Florida governor once again making headlines for his controversial policies, it’s worth revisiting The Independent’s recent assessment of what insiders say about the GOP governor’s standing for president in 2024.

The Florida governor has become the conservative golden boy in the past two years by virtue of his lax approach to combating the Covid-19 pandemic and his tough-guy posturing, as well as some significant policy wins for conservatives He now seems to be attracting attention not just from Republicans, but from Democrats too. California Governor Gavin Newsom, whose profile has risen ever since he beat back a conservative-backed recall last year, put out an ad over the holiday weekend bashing DeSantis and urging people who don’t like him to come to California.

Eric Garcia, The Independent

Read the full opinion piece from Eric Garcia below:


Mitt Romney defends GOP governors DeSantis and Abbott busing migrants to Martha’s Vineyard

Republican Senator Mitt Romney had no sympathy for Democratic leaders in cities and states around the country on Thursday after news broke of GOP governors stepping up efforts to bus groups of migrants to their jurisdictions.

John Bowden has the details.

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