'This is a new low': Ron DeSantis faces blowback after 'trafficking' migrants to Martha’s Vineyard

'This is a new low': Ron DeSantis faces blowback after 'trafficking' migrants to Martha’s Vineyard
Image via Gage Skidmore.

Far-right Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis is known for his MAGA theatrics, from punishing Disney’s response to the so-called “Don’t Say Gay” bill to berating a group of high school students for wearing protective face masks during a public event. DeSantis seldom misses an opportunity to “own the liberals” or demonstrate that he isn’t “woke,” and on Wednesday night, September 14, the Florida governor was clearly doing that when he sent two planes of migrants to Martha’s Vineyard, Massachusetts — a move that is drawing an angry response from DeSantis’ critics.

Although Massachusetts has a popular Republican governor, the decidedly non-MAGA Charlie Baker, it is a Democratic stronghold where liberal Sen. Elizabeth Warren enjoyed a landslide reelection victory when, in 2018, she defeated GOP nominee Geoff Diehl by 24 percent. And DeSantis made a point of sending the migrants to a deep blue state.

Discussing his decision to send the migrants to Martha’s Vineyard during a September 15 press conference, DeSantis said, “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. Every community in America should be sharing in the burdens. It shouldn’t all fall on a handful of red states.”

READ MORE: Why Ron DeSantis is stumping for election deniers in key swing states: report

One of the Democrats who has been lambasting DeSantis for sending the migrants to Martha’s Vineyard is ex-Republican Charlie Crist, who is running against him in Florida’s 2022 gubernatorial race. Crist said, “This is just another political stunt that hurts our state. Tonight, the 4.5 million immigrants who call Florida home must be wondering if they’re next.”

Polls released in September have been showing DeSantis with single-digit leads over Crist, including 5 percent (Fox 35/Insider Advantage) or 4 percent (Susquehanna).

Manny Díaz, chairman of the Florida Democratic Party, slammed DeSantis as well, declaring, “Even for Ron DeSantis, this is a new low. There is nothing that DeSantis won’t do, and nobody that he won’t hurt, in order to score political points.”

Liberal firebrand Keith Olbermann, a former MSNBC host who now hosts a podcast, devoted an entire Twitter thread to DeSantis’ actions on September 15 and described them as “human trafficking.” Olbermann wrote, “Am I missing something? Shouldn't DeSantis be charged federally for human trafficking? Arrest Ronda today.”

READ MORE: 'I struck a nerve': Robert Reich lays out a case for calling Ron DeSantis a 'fascist'

Olbermann also posted, “You cannot lie to vulnerable immigrants, regardless of their legal status, to lure them onto a plane, with the promise of rewards or other recompense - that's trafficking. DeSantis has already confessed this is his work. Arrest him.”

Author/attorney Seth Abramson tweeted, “I am informed by experts on the subject that the crime Ron DeSantis committed yesterday was human smuggling rather than human trafficking — two terms often conflated in major media (e.g., ABC News just yesterday). Apologies for the confusion. Ron DeSantis is a criminal. #RemoveRon.”

Watch the video of DeSantis’ September 15 press conference below or at this link:

READ MORE: Ron DeSantis is on a 'collision course' with Trump as former president is 'besieged' by legal problems

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