Administration

White House says governors sending migrants to DC, Martha’s Vineyard ‘disrespectful to humanity’

Immigrants arrive in Martha's Vineyard
Ray Ewing/Vineyard Gazette via AP
Immigrants gather with their belongings outside St. Andrews Episcopal Church, Wednesday Sept. 14, 2022, in Edgartown, Mass., on Martha’s Vineyard. Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis on Wednesday flew two planes of immigrants to Martha’s Vineyard, escalating a tactic by Republican governors to draw attention to what they consider to be the Biden administration’s failed border policies. (Ray Ewing/Vineyard Gazette via AP)

The White House on Thursday bashed Republican governors for sending migrants to Democratic-run cities such as Martha’s Vineyard, Mass., and Washington, D.C., in an attempt to make a point about immigration policy.

“It’s really just disrespectful to humanity. It is — it doesn’t afford them any dignity, what they’re doing, when you’re abandoning families and children in a place where they were told they were going to get housing, in a place where they were told they were going to get jobs,” White House press secretary Karine Jean-Pierre said. “It is just cruel.”

Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis (R) flew two planes of migrants to Martha’s Vineyard on Wednesday. He has been sending migrants to “sanctuary” cities or states, which limit their cooperation with federal immigration authorities

Texas Gov. Greg Abbott (R) has repeatedly made similar moves, including sending two buses of migrants to Vice President Harris’s residence in Washington that arrived on Thursday.

“The fact that Fox News and not the Department of Homeland Security, the city or local NGOs were alerted about a plan to leave migrants, including children, on the side of a busy D.C. street makes clear that this is just a cruel, premeditated political stunt,” Jean-Pierre said.

Jean-Pierre wouldn’t say if what is being done is illegal, deferring to the Department of Justice, but stressed that there is a process in place for handling migrants in the U.S.

“There’s a legal way of doing this, for managing migrants. Republican governors interfering in that process and using migrants as political pawns is shameful, is reckless and just plain wrong. And remember, these are people who are fleeing communism, who are fleeing hardship,” she said.

Jean-Pierre said she hasn’t spoken to Biden specifically on his response to the migrants being dropped off. 

She said the White House is working to manage the consequences of these bus loads of people and has been in touch with the cities and the Federal Emergency Management Agency.

“They deserve better than being left on the streets of D.C. or being left in Martha’s Vineyard. They deserve a lot better than that,” Jean-Pierre said. “And as we have done many times in response to attempts to create chaos and confusion by Republican governors, we are working to manage the kind of consequences of these two stunts as well.”

Tags Biden Greg Abbott Karine Jean-Pierre Ron DeSantis
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