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Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis hit back at critics of his plan to transport illegal immigrants entering the state, saying that blue “sanctuary cities” are now being forced to observe the ramifications of a weak border.
DeSantis made the remarks Thursday after Democrats called the transportation of migrants a political stunt.
“We take what’s happening at the southern border very seriously, unlike some,” DeSantis said in a Thursday speech, “and unlike the president of the United States, who has refused to lift a finger to secure that border.”
“And you have had millions and millions of people pouring across illegally – a record amount of fentanyl coming into our country. It is absolutely killing Americans in record numbers,” he continued. “Of course you have criminal aliens, but just the sheer number of people is just not the way you run a country.”
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.
A video provided to Fox News Digital shows the migrants deplaning at Martha’s Vineyard Airport in Massachusetts.
“If you have folks who are inclined to think Florida is a good place [to settle], our message to them is we are not a sanctuary state, and it’s better to be able to go to a sanctuary jurisdiction,” DeSantis told the crowd.
“And yes, we will help facilitate that transport for you to be able to go to greener pastures,” he concluded.
DeSantis lambasted lawmakers in sanctuary cities complaining about the influx of migrants, saying, “The minute even a small fraction of what those border towns deal with every day is brought to their front door, they go berserk, and they’re so upset that this is happening. And it just shows you that their virtue-signaling is a fraud.”
“Now what would be best is for Biden to do his damn job and secure the border,” he said.
While some Democrats are blasting DeSantis for sending migrants to Martha’s Vineyard, a county official said less than a year ago that he would “love” to see the area become a home for immigrants.
Keith Chatinover, a progressive county commissioner for Dukes County, Massachusetts, where Martha’s Vineyard is located, made the statement in response to Sen. Ted Cruz, R-Texas, who was pushing a bill for Democrat-led areas like Martha’s Vineyard to become ports of entry for processing migrants coming in from the southern border.
“I would love Martha’s Vineyard to become a haven for new immigrants to this country, but Sen. Cruz has no idea what he’s talking about regarding a ‘border crisis,'” Chatinover told the MVTimes in October 2021.
DeSantis press secretary Bryan Griffin criticized the reaction from the left, saying their anger is misplaced.
“The left’s outrage not being directed at the border policies incentivizing human smuggling and dangerous treks across Central America – but at chartered flights to their own doorstep – speaks volumes,” he said.
Fox News’ Ronn Blitzer and Jessica Chasmar contributed to this report.