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Gov. Ron DeSantis sending migrants to Martha's Vineyard may be a surprise but not unexpected

Governor signed 'Biden's Border Crisis' executive order in September 2021
Posted at 6:54 PM, Sep 15, 2022
and last updated 2022-09-15 18:55:42-04

As details remain scarce about the dozens of migrants Florida's governor redirected to the elite island of Martha's Vineyard on Wednesday, Gov. Ron DeSantis didn't waste any time Thursday pointing blame at the Biden administration.

"We take what's going at the southern border very seriously. Unlike the president of the United States, who has refused to lift a finger to secure that border," he said during a press conference in Niceville.

It’s a position DeSantis has maintained since he first signed an executive order against the president's immigration policies.

Dubbed, "Biden’s Border Crisis," DeSantis signed the order in September of 2021.

RELATED: DeSantis sending migrants to Martha's Vineyard is 'political stunt,' grassroots organization says

In it, DeSantis directs state agencies to stop supporting federal programs that transport to the state, "aliens apprehended at the southwest border who do not have lawful status" in the U.S.

The order also limits Florida’s Department of Children and Families from relicensing the more than dozen nonprofit shelters federally funded to care for unaccompanied migrant children as part of a longstanding federal government program.

"Now, it seems that the situation is only getting worse because we're not just targeting children who aren't accompanied, now the governor is essentially going after every child, whether they're unaccompanied or not," state Rep. Anna Eskamani, D-Orlando, who is the daughter of immigrants and a strong advocate for immigrant rights.

Eskamani has opposed the governor's anti-immigration push, which only intensified this past session when Florida's Republican-led Legislature passed a law that penalizes transportation companies that bring migrants into the state.

DeSantis also budgeted $12 million for a new immigrant relocation program to move them out. A plan that appears to be playing out for the world to see.

"It's sad and disappointing that Republicans have seized anti-immigrant fervor to pursue their political agenda when," Eskamani said. "At the end of the day, we are a nation of immigrants and we should support those who are hungry and tired and seeking freedom and not continuously berate them and reject them and, in this case, traffic them to other parts of the country."

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