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DeSantis criticizes the Martha’s Vineyard lawsuit and claims that Biden mistreated immigrants.

DeSantis criticizes the Martha's Vineyard lawsuit and claims that Biden mistreated immigrants.

DeSantis criticizes the Martha’s Vineyard lawsuit and claims that Biden mistreated immigrants.

A stubborn Florida Governor Ron DeSantis criticized the Biden administration for treating migrants “horribly” and asserted that sanctuary towns must “feel the burden” of the open border policy. DeSantis was faced with a class-action lawsuit for transporting about 50 Venezuelans to Martha’s Vineyard.

“[President] Biden is treating those migrants inhumanely. They had no opportunities at all; they were homeless and hungry, the Republican governor stated at a news conference on Tuesday in Bradenton, Florida.

We believe that the border should be protected, that policies like “Remain in Mexico” should be reinstated, and that individuals should be allowed to stay in their homes in Mexico. As such, we offered to transport people to sanctuary jurisdictions as a volunteer.

Ron DeSantis.
Gov. Ron DeSantis said sanctuary cities should “bear the brunt” of the open border policy.
Luis Santana/Tampa Bay Times via AP
Venezuelan migrants gather at the Vineyard Haven ferry terminal in Marthas Vineyard.
Venezuelan migrants gather at the Vineyard Haven ferry terminal in Martha’s Vineyard.
Carlin Stiehl/Boston Globe via Getty Images
A bus carrying Venezuelan migrants from Marthas Vineyard arrives off of a freight ferry in Woods Hole.
A bus carrying Venezuelan migrants from Martha’s Vineyard rolls off a freight ferry in Woods Hole.
John Tlumacki/Boston Globe via Getty Images

The migrants, the suit contends, were duped into boarding planes in Texas with promises of jobs, gift cards and without being fully informed of their final destination.

“No human being should be used as a political pawn,” said Ivan Espinoza-Madrigal, executive director of Lawyers for Civil Rights, the organization that filed the suit in Boston federal court.

DeSantis questioned where the outrage is when migrants are being abused by the cartels, when migrants drown in the Rio Grande, when 50 migrants are found dead in an abandoned sweltering truck, or when huge amounts of fentanyl are being smuggled across the border.

Migrants, who arrived on a flight sent by Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis, gather with their belongings outside St. Andrews Episcopal Church.
Migrants, who arrived on a flight sent by Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis, gather with their belongings outside St. Andrews Episcopal Church on Martha’s Vineyard.
Venezuelan migrants stand outside St. Andrew's Church.
Venezuelan migrants stand outside St. Andrew’s Church.
A migrant hugs a volunteer.
A migrant hugs a local volunteer as the immigrants prepare to leave St. Andrews.
A Venezuelan migrant and a Martha's Vineyard resident dance outside St. Andrews Church.
A Venezuelan migrant and a Martha’s Vineyard resident dance outside St. Andrews Church.
Students from the Marthas Vineyard Regional High School AP Spanish class help deliver food to St. Andrews Episcopal Church.
Students from the Marthas Vineyard Regional High School AP Spanish class help deliver food to St. Andrews Episcopal Church.
Volunteers mingle outside of St. Andrews Episcopal Church.
Volunteers mingle outside of St. Andrews Episcopal Church.

“The only thing I hear them getting upset about is you have 50 that ended up in Martha’s Vineyard, then they get really upset,” he said.

DeSantis also faulted the residents of Martha’s Vineyard for their treatment of the migrants.

Migrant crisis moves North: Here’s what’s happening around the country as border states bus migrants around the US

“They were provided an ability to be in the most posh sanctuary jurisdiction maybe in the world,” he said. “Martha’s Vineyard people deported them the next day.”

“They could’ve absorbed this. They chose not to. But what it shows is if 50 was a burden on one of the richest places in our country, what about all these other communities that have been overrun with hundreds or thousands?”

he continued.

DeSantis also shot back at critics who decried his actions as a political stunt.

“The biggest stunt was Biden coming in as president and reversing [President Donald] Trump’s policies just so he could virtue-signal that he was against Trump,” the governor said. “It didn’t matter that the policy had worked.”

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