The migrants’ arrival on Martha’s Winery got here as a shock to the island neighborhood, referred to as a preferred trip spot for the rich and political elite, together with former President Barack Obama. Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis, also a Republican, later confirmed he was behind the transfer.

Though their journey to Massachusetts was facilitated by DeSantis, the migrants who arrived on Martha’s Winery on Wednesday got here from Texas. The DeSantis administration paid an aviation firm, Vertol Methods Firm Inc., $615,000 to move the migrants from San Antonio to the unique trip enclave. The Republican-led Florida Legislature had beforehand permitted $12 million to go towards shifting migrants out of Florida to different states, a reality DeSantis highlighted throughout a press conference at Embry-Riddle Aeronautical College on Friday.

“The legislature gave me $12 million, we’re going to spend each penny of that to make it possible for we’re defending the individuals within the state of Florida,” DeSantis mentioned.

Taryn Fenske, communications director for DeSantis, mentioned on Friday: “States like Massachusetts, New York, and California will higher facilitate the care of those people who they’ve invited into our nation by incentivizing unlawful immigration by their designation as ‘sanctuary states’ and assist for the Biden administration’s open border insurance policies.”

Upon arrival, most of the migrants mentioned they didn’t know the place they have been and a few said they had been misled with the promise of expedited work permits and different assist. DeSantis disputed this on Friday, saying the migrants boarded the planes voluntarily after signing launch varieties, and that they have been handed packets with maps of Martha’s Winery, “so it was apparent that that’s the place they have been going.”

President Joe Biden condemned the move, calling it a “political stunt.”

“Republicans are taking part in politics with human beings, utilizing them as props. What they’re doing is just mistaken,” he mentioned Thursday at a gala for the Congressional Hispanic Caucus.

At her Friday press briefing, White Home press secretary Karine Jean-Pierre was vital of DeSantis and Greg Abbott, one other Republican governor who has bussed migrants within the U.S. from Texas to cities together with Washington, New York and Chicago. These governors, Jean-Pierre mentioned, “handled [the migrants] like chattel in a merciless, premeditated political stunt.”

In an look on Fox Information Friday, Abbott defended his actions, saying, “What we’ve achieved within the state of Texas is comply with the regulation to the T to make it possible for the whole lot that we’ve achieved comports with the federal regulation. We obtain written authorization by all people that we transport that they comply with precisely what we’re doing.”

Jean-Pierre struck a sharply totally different tone. “These are the sorts of techniques we see from smugglers in locations like Mexico and Guatemala. And for what? A photograph-op?” she mentioned. “As a result of these governors care extra about creating political theater than creating precise options to assist.”

She additionally referred to as on Republicans to assist Biden’s immigration reform bill, which has floundered in Congress.

Gary Fineout contributed to this report.

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