The White House denounced on Thursday the actions of two Republican governors of send dozens of immigrants who irregularly entered Washington DC through the southern border and the exclusive island of Martha’s Vineyard, on the east coast of the United States, and the residence of Vice President Kamala Harris in Washington DC.
“It’s a shameful thing,” White House press secretary Karine Jean-Pierre said at an afternoon briefing.
On Thursday, at least two buses with immigrants sent from Texas to Washington, instead of making their last stop at Union Station as usual, went to Harris’s house, where they were dropped off.
Also, on Wednesday the Republican Governor of Florida, Ron DeSantis, ordered the dispatch of two planes of immigrants to Martha’s Vineyard, Massachusetts. The flights were due to an initiative to “transport illegal immigrants to sanctuary destinations,” Taryn Fenske, director of communications for DeSantis, explained Thursday.
The two flights, carrying about 50 migrants, originated in San Antonio, Texas, reported Reuters.
The Florida legislature appropriated $12 million to transport immigrants living in the United States illegally to other places, Fenske said in a statement.
“States like Massachusetts, New York and California will make it easier to care for these people who have been invited into our country,” Fenske said.
The White House said that these Republican governors are interfering in the legal process of treating immigrants. “Remember we are talking about people who are fleeing from communism, from hardship,” he said.
“This is a political ruse, this is what we are seeing from Republican governors in particular,” the spokeswoman concluded.
Jean-Pierre also accused Republican senators from Florida, Marco Rubio and Rick Scott, of having torpedoed in Congress a request by President Joe Biden to grant more funds to the Department of Homeland Security to reinforce the work on the border.
Texas Governor Greg Abbott began moving immigrants to Washington DC in April and then to New York and Chicago as well. Arizona Governor Doug Ducey has been sending immigrants to Washington since May.
Harris, shortly after taking office, received the task of dealing with the migration issuebut has been frequently criticized by the Republican opposition for standing idly by in the face of what they see as an open border policy.
According to data from the US Border Patrol, authorities detained migrants 1.43 million times on the southern border between January and July, accounting for those who are expelled and return again, which means 28% more than in the same period. from the previous year.
Solidarity on the spot
Tatiana Laborde, general director of the SAMU First Response group, which assists immigrants arriving in Washington DC, said earlier in an interview with the voice of america that they were surprised by the change in itinerary on Thursday.
“We were ready to receive them at Union Station at half past five in the morning, but there was a last minute change that was not reported to the local organizations and they left them here, next to the vice president’s house,” he explained.
Laborde reported that the immigrants were in the place for about an hour until they were taken to a reception center, where some of them are already awaiting their next destinations, such as New York and other cities. He added that each week they receive between 7 and 11 buses with immigrants from the southwestern United States.
María de las Hortas, a Honduran immigrant, came to the place when she saw the news on local television and explained to the VOA the reason for their solidarity. “We are giving donations for the people of our country. And we thought about going to buy things, make food for them and bring them to them because just as they are here, that is how we came to this country.”
* VOA Washington DC reporter Iacopo Luzzi contributed to this report. With information from Reuters.
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