Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis late Monday decried the level of outrage over his decision to fly migrants to Martha’s Vineyard compared to frequent reports of tragedies closer to the border.
Mr. DeSantis, a Republican and possible 2024 presidential contender, highlighted the recent discovery of dozens of migrants who died in a trailer during an interview with Fox News’ Sean Hannity.
“Millions of people since Biden has been president illegally coming across the southern border. Did they freak out about that? No. You had migrants die in the Rio Grande, you had 50 die in Texas in a trailer because they were being neglected. Was there a freak-out about that? No, there wasn’t,” he said. “You’ve had criminal aliens get across that southern border and victimize Americans, killing some and raping some.”
Mr. DeSantis also highlighted the high amount of fentanyl, a deadly synthetic opioid, that is pouring into the country.
“Where’s that fentanyl coming from? It’s coming over the open southern border,” he said.
GOP governors like Mr. DeSantis and Texas Gov. Greg Abbott have been busing or flying migrants to places in the Northeast during this midterm election year, saying liberal bastions need to get a sense of the challenges that southern states face in absorbing the influx.
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Democratic leaders in New York City and elsewhere have decried the lack of coordination around the transfers while insisting they would treat migrants with respect.
Some residents of Martha’s Vineyard, a tony Massachusetts island, said the Venezuelan migrants shipped by Mr. DeSantis were duped about where they were going and treated compassionately upon arrival.
Mr. DeSantis said the island is supposed to be a sanctuary for migrants, yet they were rehoused on a base on Cape Cod.
“They said they were a sanctuary jurisdiction. These are people who were basically destitute and put in a situation where they could have succeeded, but that was all virtue signaling and not only did they not welcome them, they deported them the next day with the National Guard — give me a break,” Mr. DeSantis said.