Over 50 migrants were flown to Martha’s Vineyard in Massachusetts on Wednesday;

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Massachusetts state Sen. Julian Cyr said two planes carrying migrants arrived on the island without warning Wednesday afternoon. 

“There was clear coordination,” said Mr. Cyr, a Democrat who represents Martha’s Vineyard, an island off Cape Cod in Massachusetts known as a vacation destination for many wealthy people.

Florida’s governor’s office said on Thursday that it had coordinated the flights, part of the state’s efforts to relocate some immigrants to what it called sanctuary destinations.

“​​States like Massachusetts, New York, and California will better facilitate the care of these individuals who they have invited into our country,” said Taryn Fenske, a spokeswoman for Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis, a Republican.

Officials in Florida, Texas and Arizona have in recent months been transporting migrants to other states, saying they want East Coast officials to share responsibility for the asylum seekers. 

On Thursday morning, two buses carrying migrants from Texas arrived at the U.S. Naval Observatory in Washington, D.C., Texas Gov. Greg Abbott said. Vice President Kamala Harris lives on the grounds there.

The Republican officials say their states have been inundated with migrants because the Biden administration hasn’t fully secured the border.

Thousands of migrants have been crossing the southern border illegally every day for months. Migrants released into the U.S. after crossing the border with Mexico typically have an initial court date set several weeks later, the first step in what can be a yearslong process to be granted asylum or other protections. Ahead of their court date, the migrants are sometimes dropped off by Border Patrol officials at local shelters. 

Some state authorities have paid for buses and now planes to move the migrants from the shelters to places including New York and Washington. Florida’s legislature recently appropriated $12 million for the relocation efforts.

When Karine Jean-Pierre, the White House press secretary, was asked in August about Texas’s governor busing migrants to New York, she called the move a political ploy. “It’s shameful,” she said.

The tactic has strained resources in some Democrat-led cities. Washington, D.C., Mayor Muriel Bowser declared a public emergency last week over the thousands of migrants who she said had been bused into the capital city.

New York City’s shelters have been overwhelmed by the influx of migrants, Mayor Eric Adams said at a news briefing Thursday. He said the city would allocate more resources to help the 11,000 migrants who have arrived in recent months, including 8,000 currently in shelters.


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