The migrant flight never arrives near Biden’s Delaware home

As Republican governors of Texas, Florida and Arizona continued to exercise political tactic to transport migrants out of their states, Delaware officials and immigration advocates prepared Tuesday to offer help after Reports suggested that a private plane carrying a group of migrants could land at an airport near President Biden’s summer residence.

Flight tracking websites appeared to show that a leased plane from the same company was being used by the governor of Florida. Ron DeSantis to transport migrants to Martha’s Vineyard, Mass., Was scheduled to take off from San Antonio on Tuesday morning with a brief stop in Crestview, Florida before landing at Delaware Coastal Airport in Georgetown at around 1:30 PM last week.

But by Tuesday evening, the plane had not arrived in the city of nearly 7,500 people. Flight trackers showed that the plane went from Nashville to Teterboro, NJ instead

The Delaware Gov. John Carney, a Democrat, said Tuesday that he was coordinating with federal officials to prepare for a possible arrival. And Jill Fredel, director of communications for the Delaware Department of Health and Social Services, said in a news conference Tuesday afternoon that the agency had not been in contact with the offices of DeSantis or the Republican governor. Greg Abbott of Texas, who has also sent migrants to other states. He said Delaware officials were working with state agencies and community groups to provide migrants with food, shelter, transportation, and health services, and had prepared a centralized donation website for publication.

“It’s a humanitarian effort on our part,” he said. “We want to support people who might arrive in our state.”

Councilor Christina Diaz-Malone said Georgetown was ready for the possible arrival of migrants and that she witnessed an outpouring of support with an expert network that mobilized to help. You have noticed that Georgetown formerly welcomed the Guatemalans who came to work in poultry farms in the 1990s.

“This isn’t Georgetown’s first rodeo,” he said.

White House Press Secretary Karine Jean-Pierre told reporters Tuesday that the Biden administration had “received the news of the flights” and was “coordinating closely with state officials and local service providers who are ready to welcome these families. in an orderly manner while pursuing their asylum requests ”.

When asked about the situation, Biden noted that DeSantis should visit Delaware himself.

“We have a beautiful coastline,” the president told reporters.

As Delaware officials continued preparations for a possible arrival, migrants who boarded flights to Martha’s Vineyard last week and defense group Alianza Americas sued DeSantis in Massachusetts federal court on Tuesday. The class action complaint alleges that migrants were fraudulently targeted and induced “to board a plane and cross state borders through false declarations and false promises.” On Monday, Sheriff Javier Salazar of Bexar County, Texas said he was initiating a criminal investigation into the flights that brought 48 migrants from San Antonio to Martha’s Vineyard last week.

In addition to DeSantis, Abbott and Arizona Gov. Doug Ducey has sent thousands of migrants by bus to other Democratic strongholds in recent months – Washington, DC, New York and Chicago. Those who came to Martha’s Vineyard were mostly from Venezuela.

Rossana Arteaga-Lopenza, a volunteer from the Casa de Venezuela Delaware, said she arrived on Tuesday morning sad but ready to welcome all arriving migrants and to act as an interpreter. Arteaga-Lopenza described herself as a stay-at-home mom who cares about the community, the state and fellow Venezuelans who are suffering in the midst of the humanitarian crisis that has removed over 6 million people from the South American country.

According to the US Customs and Border Protection, migrants were stopped along the border more than 2 million times in this fiscal year, an all-time high due in part to the increase in Venezuelans, Cubans and Nicaraguans fleeing authoritarian governments and economic hardships. . That number does not represent individual migrants as many attempt to cross the border – and are arrested – multiple times.

Casa de Venezuela cannot offer financial aid, Arteaga-Lopenza said, but it does provide emotional support to incoming Venezuelans and access to food, shelter and information such as how to enroll their children in school and where to look for work.

Before the flight arrived, Arteaga-Lopenza hoped to welcome the migrants with a hug and a smile, but said he believed their vulnerable situation was exploited.

“I hope they don’t come, not because they’re not welcome,” he said. “We shouldn’t use them as a political gimmick.”

News reports reported that Florida has repurposed federal COVID-19 aid to pay for flights. On Tuesday, DeSantis declined to confirm whether he spent public dollars to transport migrants to Delaware, but defended the transfer of migrants to so-called sanctuary destinations like Martha’s Vineyard, saying it “has already had a greater impact than anyone thought it could. to have. ”

“What we are doing is not the final solution,” he said. “I think it’s opening people’s eyes to the solution, which is to have a secure border, let them stay in Mexico.”