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'We're not a sanctuary state,' Florida Gov. DeSantis defends decision to send migrants to Martha's Vineyard

'We are not a sanctuary state': DeSantis defends move to send migrants to Martha's Vineyard
'We are not a sanctuary state': DeSantis defends move to send migrants to Martha's Vineyard 00:19

NICEVILLE, Fla. - Florida Governor Ron DeSantis is standing by his decision to fly 50 migrants from Venezuela to Martha's Vineyard, a move some called a political stunt.

"Our message is we're not a sanctuary state," DeSantis told reporters at an event in North Florida Thursday morning.  

"All those people in D.C. and New York were beating their chest when Trump was President, saying they were so proud to be sanctuary jurisdictions, saying how bad it was to have a secure border. The minute even a small fraction of what those border towns deal with every day is brought to their front door, they all of the sudden go berserk," DeSantis said. "And they're so upset that this is happening. And it just shows you their virtue signaling is a fraud. They are supporting policies that are just frankly indefensible."

Keller @ Large: DeSantis's Vineyard migrant stunt makes immigration crisis worse   

Massachusetts Congressman Bill Keating, who represents the Vineyard, said the island doesn't even have enough housing to currently support the people who work there, and that this was a case of "humans used as props."

"It was done with the only intent of trying to get as much publicity as you could," Keating told WBZ-TV Thursday. "It's beyond lame... it's sad."

Since the spring, Republican governors in Texas and Arizona have sent several thousand migrants and asylum seekers to New York, Chicago, and Washington, D.C., all cities with Democratic mayors. Unlike those major cities, the arrivals on the Vineyard aren't met with migrant resources and services like immigration courts where their asylum cases can be heard. 

Martha's Vineyard has a population of about 15,000 and does not have any sanctuary cities. There are eight in Massachusetts though - Amherst, Boston, Cambridge, Concord, Lawrence, Newton, Northampton and Somerville.

"Every community in America should be sharing in the burdens. It shouldn't all fall on a handful of red states," DeSantis said. 

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