Martha's Vineyard residents might expect "a few thousand more" migrants like the 50 who showed up unexpectedly Wednesday, Gov. Ron DeSantis' staff said Thursday, though it was unclear if that was a promise or mere Twitter arguing.
Two planes filled with mostly Venezuelans arrived from Texas on Wednesday with less than an hour's notice at the vacation spot for the wealthy just off the Massachusetts coast.
DeSantis took credit for the flights, saying they were part of the state's efforts to move migrants to liberal "sanctuary" areas that have said they welcome the influx of immigrants into the country. Republican governors of Texas and Arizona have done the same, sending busloads of immigrants to Washington, D.C., New York City, and Chicago.
Dylan Fernandes, a state representative who represents Martha's Vineyard, wrote on Twitter: "These immigrants were not met with chaos, they were met with compassion. 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.
"Our island jumped into action putting together 50 beds, giving everyone a good meal, providing a play area for the children, making sure people have the healthcare and support they need," he said. "We are a community that comes together to support immigrants."
Christina Pushaw, DeSantis' rapid response director, tweeted in response: "Great, then you won't mind taking in a few thousand more."
Newsweek asked the DeSantis team whether Pushaw's tweet indicated an actual intent to send thousands more migrants to Martha's Vineyard, but had not received a response Thursday afternoon.
Later, Pushaw tweeted that Martha's Vineyard residents "should be thrilled" about welcoming migrants.
"They vote for sanctuary cities — they get a sanctuary city of their own. And illegal aliens will increase the town's diversity, which is strength. Right?"
Author Mark Russell commented, "I'd take a hundred migrants any day of the week over a hundred DeSantis voters," to which Pushaw responded, "Duly noted, sir. I hope you have a large mansion or else it might get a bit crowded."
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