BOSTON (WBZNewsRadio) - Florida Governor Ron DeSantis has made good on a promise he made months ago to send migrants to Martha's Vineyard. A plane carrying about 50 migrants landed on the island unexpectedly Wednesday.
In a statement, DeSantis said, "States like Massachusetts, New York, and California will better facilitate the care of these individuals who they have invited into our country by incentivizing illegal immigration through their designation as "sanctuary states" and support for the Biden Administration's open border policies."
DeSantis said his office organized the migrants' journey to Massachusetts as part of his state's relocation program.
Massachusetts State Rep. Dylan Fernandes said residents on the island jumped into action putting together 50 beds, giving the migrants a good meal, and providing healthcare and the support they need.
"These immigrants were not met with chaos, they were met with compassion." Fernandes tweeted. "We are a community & nation that is stronger because of immigrants. The community coming together with water, food, interpretation help, & resources to support these families represent the best of America."
Congressman Bill Keating railed against DeSantis in a series of tweets.
"Instead of trying to help them, @GovRonDeSantis chose to charter a private jet and send them to a rural island community late in the day and without warning so they wouldn't have the resources at the ready to support them." Keating wrote.
Keating also applauded Governor Charlie Baker for his "administration's efforts to step up and assist these refugees despite the lack of notice of their impending arrival,"
Baker said he is in touch with local officials and short-term shelter services are being provided.
The ACLU issuing a statement Thursday morning saying: "Immigrants and asylum-seekers are people—period. It is cruel and immoral that some governors are involuntarily flying and busing people and families to other states, based on their perceived immigration status. Martha's Vineyard's immediate response shows what Massachusetts looks like at its best: a place that values the lives and well-being of all people."
All the migrants tested negative for COVID, and were given food and water. Two shelters have been established with additional space in case more people arrive.
WBZ's Rob Woodard reports