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Migrants shipped to sanctuary cities by Republican governors

In an effort to protest the Biden administration’s immigration policies, Republican governors in Arizona, Florida, and Texas have been shipping migrants released on parole to sanctuary cities in Democratic-governed cities and states.

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    Why are Republicans sending migrants to Democratic-governed cities?

    Republican governors such as Ron DeSantis (Florida), Gregg Abbott (Texas), and Doug Ducey (Arizona) have been sending migrants by bus and plane to various liberal Democratic-led cities throughout the United States in an effort to protest what they consider to be the Biden’s administration lenient stance on immigration and border policy.

    Many of these migrants transported out of state have crossed the U.S.-Mexico border illegally and were arrested. The migrants were then released from detention facilities in order to allow them to pursue their asylum claims in immigration courts.

    Republican governors, in an attempt to politically protest the strain their states have in housing and processing these migrants have then been transporting asylum-seekers from their southern states to cities like Washington D.C., New York City, Chicago, and most recently-the wealthy holiday destination of Martha’s Vineyard.

    To finance the transport of migrants to ‘sanctuary cities’ far away, Republic governors have allocated taxpayer funds to pay for the relocation. Florida Legislature has appropriated $12 million to transport migrants out of state.

    So far, Texas and Arizona have transported an estimated 13,000 migrants by bus to various ‘sanctuary’ destinations throughout the United States. Recently, approximately 50 migrants from Venezuela were flown by two planes to Martha’s Vineyard in a move made by Governor Ron DeSantis from Florida.

    Ron DeSantis

    What happened to the migrants flown to Martha’s Vineyard?

    According to reports, the group of migrants transported from a shelter in San Antonio, Texas, then flown to Martha’s Vineyard initially wandered about three and a half miles from the airport to Edgartown where community services in Martha’s Vineyard where they were given food, clothing, and shelter.

    Since Martha’s Vineyard is a small holiday island meant for wealthy patrons, the area was not equipped with the social services infrastructure to properly take care of these migrants like larger cities such as Chicago and Washington D.C. have. As a result, the 48 Venezuelan migrants were then transported by bus to a temporary shelter at Joint Base Cape Cod where they were given food and shelter and access to the appropriate facilities to attend their immigration hearings.

    Welcome Refugees sticker on pole

    Were the migrants flown to Martha’s Vineyard fully informed?

    Critics of the political stunts of shipping migrants out of state have questioned the overall legality of the situation. Republican governors have argued that all asylum-seekers who boarded buses and planes bound for sanctuary destinations have signed consent waivers stating the transport is completely voluntary and not forced.

    Migrants who are released by federal officials into the United States to await their immigration proceedings are allowed to travel to any destination in the United States that they choose. However, many critics have argued that migrants who volunteered for these trips were intentionally coerced and/or misinformed.

    The migrants who were flown from Texas to Massachusetts were originally told they were being flown to Boston where they would have access to jobs, schools for children, and immigration assistance. It was only midair that the Venezuelan migrants were informed that they were instead being transported to Martha’s Vineyard. Furthermore, these asylum-seekers have reported being approached by a woman in San Antonio who gave out gift cards for fast food and offered to take them to ‘sanctuary’ in Massachusetts.

    Many migrant advocates like Lawyers for Civil Rights and California Governor Gavin Newsom have urged both federal and state authorities to investigate the legality of the transport and possible targeting of these particular asylum-seekers.

    Sheriff Javier Salazar of Bexar Country, Texas has recently announced that he will open a criminal investigation into the Republican-funded flights of migrants to Martha’s Vineyard. So far, Sheriff Salazar has enlisted agents from his office’s organized crime task force to investigate and determine if any crimes were committed in the political stunt.

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