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“We Are Not a Sanctuary State”: Florida Governor Sends Asylum Seekers to Martha’s Vineyard

HeadlineSep 16, 2022

Florida Republican Governor Ron DeSantis has sent two planes with some 50 asylum seekers to Martha’s Vineyard, an island off the coast of Massachusetts. DeSantis spoke Wednesday.

Gov. Ron DeSantis: “Yes, if you have folks that are inclined to think Florida is a good place, our message to them is we are not a sanctuary state, and it’s better to be able to go to a sanctuary jurisdiction, and, yes, we will help facilitate that transport for you to be able to go to greener pastures.”

Community members in Martha’s Vineyard welcomed the asylum seekers with food, water and other resources. Many had journeyed for months until reaching the U.S.-Mexico border in search of refuge and were lied to by Florida officials — told if they boarded the planes, they’d be sent to Boston to receive jobs and housing. On Thursday, the White House condemned Republican governors for using asylum seekers as “political pawns.”

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