GOP governors step up migrant transport campaign, stranding asylum seekers on an island and a busy street.

This week, Republican governors stepped up their efforts to transport migrants released from federal border custody to Democrat-led juris...

This week, Republican governors stepped up their efforts to transport migrants released from federal border custody to Democrat-led jurisdictions, sending groups of Latin American asylum seekers to Martha’s Vineyard and a busy street near Vice President Kamala Harris’ home in Washington, DC

On Wednesday, Florida Governor Ron DeSantis, a Republican, took credit for transporting about 50 Venezuelan immigrants to Martha’s Vineyard, an island off the coast of Massachusetts, without alerting local officials. On Thursday morning, Texas Governor Greg Abbott bragged about taking another group of immigrants by bus to a street near the Naval Observatory, which is home to the vice president’s official residence.

This week’s state actions are part of a broader campaign by three Republican governors to rebuke the Biden administration’s border strategy by transporting thousands of migrants to communities that have adopted so-called “sanctuary” policies that limit cooperation with federal immigration authorities.

As of Friday, Texas and Arizona have sent at least 295 buses with approximately 13,000 migrants to DC, New York and Chicago, all cities with Democratic mayors, according to statistics provided by state officials.

Most of the buses were ordered by Texas, which began its transportation effort to DC this spring before expanding it to include New York and Chicago. Earlier this month, Texas had paid more than $12 million to fund the migrant transport operation, according to the state’s emergency management division.

Meanwhile, Arizona transported 1,809 immigrants to DC in 50 buses, CJ Karamargin, a spokesman for Republican Governor Doug Ducey, said Friday. Karamargin said Arizona paid more than $4 million to transport migrants to DC, noting that each bus costs about $83,000 to operate.

While Democratic mayors of DC, New York and Chicago have expressed logistical concerns about their ability to accommodate migrants transported through Texas and Arizona, their cities, with the help of nonprofit organizations, have managed to welcome the newcomers with food, shelter and other services.

But authorities on Martha’s Vineyard found themselves scrambling on Wednesday to find shelter, food and other accommodation for the several dozen migrants, including children, who arrived at the island’s small airport. Two churches were converted into makeshift shelters, according to local officials, who pleaded with federal and state officials for help.

Unlike major urban centers, Martha’s Vineyard does not have an immigration court where migrants can attend asylum hearings or an immigration office where they can check in to demonstrate their compliance with the terms of their release. The island also lacks large migrant service organizations that help newcomers integrate into local communities.

On Friday, Massachusetts Governor Charlie Baker, a Republican, said he was considering establishing a makeshift shelter for immigrants at Joint Base Cape Cod, a military installation on the American mainland.

“The Commonwealth has many resources to help individuals arriving in Massachusetts with different immigration status and needs and is working with all partners involved to ensure these resources are available to migrants who arrived last night,” Baker said.

On Thursday morning, two buses unloaded about 100 migrants outside the vice president’s official residence, where they were greeted by a Fox News film crew, which also received a video of the migrants’ arrival on Martha’s Vineyard. . Local volunteers said they received no advance notice of the operation, which left migrants stranded on nearby sidewalks.

The Department of Homeland Security said Friday that migrants transported to DC were taken to a local church after coordinating with a local nonprofit. In a statement, the department criticized Texas for failing to alert local officials about the arrival of migrants.

“The Department of Homeland Security works closely with state and local officials on an extremely wide range of issues, including natural disaster response, counter-terrorism, crime-fighting, cybersecurity and immigration,” he said. “When, however, a state or local government refuses to coordinate with receiving communities, it can wreak havoc and harm individuals and those communities. That is the case here.”

Republican state officials have argued that their migrant transport campaign is a way for Democrat-led jurisdictions to share the burden of accommodating migrants, which they say mostly falls on small border towns. They lobbied the Biden administration to adopt stricter border policies to prevent immigrants from entering the US illegally.

“Our message is that we are not a sanctuary state,” DeSantis said during a news conference on Friday. “We don’t have benefits or anything like that. There are some sanctuary jurisdictions, and that would be better. Now, what would be best for Biden to do his damn job and protect the border.”

But advocates for asylum seekers and Democratic lawmakers have called the states’ transportation strategy inhumane, accusing Republican officials of using desperate immigrants as political pawns in a political dispute with the government.

“It’s remarkable that they can criticize the Biden administration for being too soft on the Venezuelan regime and then mistreating people who are fleeing that regime,” said Adam Isacson, immigration policy analyst at the Washington Office on Latin America.

State officials in Texas and Arizona have openly discussed the political motivations behind the locations they are selecting to transport migrants. Abbott said Thursday’s migrant bus operation near the vice president’s residence would allow her to “see firsthand the impact of the open border policies she helped implement”.

Meanwhile, Christina Pushaw, a spokeswoman for DeSantis, noted that former President Obama has a house on Martha’s Vineyard, which she said was “full of liberals.”

White House press secretary Karine Jean-Pierre denounced the Florida and Texas actions on Friday.

“The fact that Fox News, not the Department of Homeland Security, City Hall or local NGOs, were alerted to a plan to drop off migrants, including children, alongside a busy DC street makes clear that this is just a cruel, premeditated political coup,” she said.

Jean-Pierre also said that migrants taken to Martha’s Vineyard were “misled” about their destination and the services they would find there. Some migrants flown to the island told several news outlets who were told they would be taken to a different destination where they would receive certain benefits and services.

The reports have led some Democratic politicians to turn on federal authorities to investigate the incident. The Justice Department declined to comment on questions about a possible investigation into the states’ migrant transport efforts.

Representatives for the governor of Florida did not respond to several questions about information provided to migrants prior to their transport to Martha’s Vineyard, how migrants were selected for the operation and who supervised the transport.

In addition to the political backlash from Republicans, the Biden administration faced dire logistical and humanitarian challenges along the US-Mexico border last year, amid unprecedented levels of migrant apprehensions, which are expected to exceed 2 million in fiscal 2022, a high total -time, government data show.

In recent months, U.S. border officials have processed record numbers of Cubans, Venezuelans and Nicaraguans who, unlike many Mexican and Central American migrants, cannot be deported to northern Mexico or their home countries due to limits imposed by the Mexico and strained relations with the left. regimes in Cuba, Venezuela and Nicaragua.

It is unclear whether Texas and Florida plan to send migrants to destinations other than DC, New York, Chicago and Martha’s Vineyard. DeSantis already talked about sending migrants to Delaware, President Biden’s home state.

Karamargin, a spokesperson for the Arizona governor, said the state does not plan to transport migrants to places other than the capital. “Washington is the source of the problem,” he said.

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Newsrust - US Top News: GOP governors step up migrant transport campaign, stranding asylum seekers on an island and a busy street.
GOP governors step up migrant transport campaign, stranding asylum seekers on an island and a busy street.
Newsrust - US Top News
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