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Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis (R) has issued a warning to John Kerry and other wealthy residents of Martha’s Vineyard, Massachusetts, saying that more flights full of migrants are on their way to the island.
“These are just the beginning efforts,” DeSantis said of the flights, which have been carrying Central American migrants to the U.S. island destination in recent weeks.
The governor suggested that Kerry, a former Democratic presidential nominee and current U.S. Special Presidential Envoy for Climate, may have something to do with the migrant flights, given his work on climate change issues.
“I don’t know if John Kerry is behind this or not, but somebody is,” DeSantis said. “Somebody is flying them in there.”
The governor noted that the flights are coming from Guatemala and that the migrants are seeking asylum in the United States. He said he has asked the Department of Homeland Security to investigate the matter.
DeSantis said he is also considering sending migrants to other wealthy enclaves, such as the Hamptons in New York.
“If they don’t want them in Florida, we’ll send them up to Martha’s Vineyard,” DeSantis said. “These are just the beginning efforts.”
The flights come as the Trump administration has been seeking to deter asylum seekers by making it more difficult for them to request protection and by sending them to Mexico to wait for their cases to be processed.
The administration has also been working to increase the number of deportations of Central American migrants.
DeSantis’ comments come as the U.S. government is set to begin flying migrant families from Guatemala to Florida on Monday. The flights are part of a new Trump administration program that will send up to 20,000 migrants to Florida and other states.
The policy has been harshly criticized by Democrats and immigrant rights organizations, who claim it is punitive and will make it harder for refugees to qualify for asylum in the United States.
It is not clear how long the flights to Martha’s Vineyard will continue or how many more migrants will be sent to the island. But DeSantis said he is determined to find out who is behind the flights and to put a stop to them.
“Somebody is doing this,” DeSantis said. “We’re going to figure out who it is and we’re going to put a stop to it.
“Now we see, in New York and D.C., they used to beat their chests when Trump was in office, saying they are sanctuary jurisdictions. Then the minute Texas starts busing there, they get very bent out of shape about it.
“We got an infrastructure in place now. There is going to be a lot more that’s happening.”
John Kerry Responded:
“The situation in Guatemala, Honduras, and El Salvador is dire and getting worse by the day,” Kerry said. “People are fleeing violence, insecurity, and economic despair.”
Kerry said the United States has a “moral obligation” to provide protection to those who are fleeing violence and persecution.