LOS ANGELES (KABC) -- An unexpected arrival of roughly 50 migrants from Venezuela on the posh summer resort island of Martha's Vineyard in Massachusetts has intensified the immigration and political debate across the country.
"We went and loaded up some cases of water, snacks, fruits and things we had available to us," said Richard Reinhardsen with the Salvation Army of Martha's Vineyard.
Florida Governor Ron DeSantis is taking credit for the two flights, which originated in San Antonio, Texas, but stopped in Florida before landing in New England.
"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 for them 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," said DeSantis.
DeSantis has blamed President Joe Biden's policies at the southern border, which has seen an increase in illegal immigration.
DeSantis has copied the actions of Texas Governor Greg Abbott, who has been sending busses of migrants to New York and Chicago, and on Thursday, the home of Vice President Kamala Harris in Washington D.C.
"Shame on you, Governor Abbot. Shame on you Governor DeSantis. These political stunts have no role in American politics. It's something that's being done for the midterm elections. That's what all of this is about," said Domingo Garcia, the National President of the League of United Latin American Citizens (LULAC).
In a statement, DeSantis's Communications Director teased that California could be next.
Governor Gavin Newsom responding by asking the Department of Justice to consider kidnapping charges, saying in part, "several of the individuals who were transported to Martha's Vineyard have alleged that a recruiter induced them to accept the offer of travel based on false representations that they would be transported to Boston and would be receive expedited access to work authorization."
Newsom called DeSantis and Abbott's actions inhumane efforts to use kids as political pawns.
Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti agreed.
"We always, in Los Angeles, have welcomed and integrate immigrants. They're the lifeblood of our city and we would welcome folks here and do our best to help people," he said." The idea that folks are just going to put people on busses and drop them off with zero help and spend money on plane rides and on busses instead of helping refugees and asylum seekers seems to be a very unbrotherly thing to do."
¿Quieres leer este artículo en español? Haz clic aquí.