GOP officials in Florida and Texas accuse Democrats of hypocrisy over migrant transportation

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Republican lawmakers and officials are accusing Democrats of hypocrisy after the left heaped criticism on the governors of Texas and Florida for sending migrants to liberal strongholds – despite doing the very same thing themselves.

Rep. Michael Waltz of Florida compared the outrage at Texas and Florida to the relatively muted response to ‘ghost flights’ of mostly underage migrants sent by the Biden administration in the middle of the night.

‘Those are Biden administration/taxpayer-funded contracts with a number of NGOs that are flying these people in the dead of night to all of these same locations, then it’s fine,’ Waltz told Fox News late last week.

‘But if you have [Florida] Governor DeSantis or [Texas] Governor Abbott or [Arizona] Governor Ducey doing it in the middle of the day when everyone can see it, then suddenly we’re up in arms and having a collective political meltdown.’

It comes after the Biden administration resumed charter flights in April of underaged migrants from the U.S.-Mexico border to Westchester, New York. While these flights operated during the day as well, the amount that came in the middle of the night without wide public knowledge earned criticism from Republicans.

Former Westchester County Executive Rob Astorino had called the resumption of flights ‘a big middle finger to hard-working New York taxpayers in comments to the New York Post at the time.

It’s worth noting that governors do not have the same authorities as the Department of Homeland Security, which led the flights. There have also been multiple reports that suggest at least some migrants have been led to board DeSantis’ buses under false pretenses. 

But Waltz said the only difference in their actions was that the Republicans’ initiatives took place during the day.

‘Either way, all of those services that American citizens and legal immigrants deserve are now being taxed by millions and millions and millions of people that we just can’t afford to feed and house and clothe,’ the Florida lawmaker said.

Texas Senator Ted Cruz also stepped in to defend DeSantis on Sunday morning after the Florida governor sent migrants to the wealthy liberal island of Martha’s Vineyard.

Rep. Michael Waltz of Florida accused Democrats of having a ‘collective political meltdown’ over Florida and Texas sending migrants to sanctuary areas

It comes amid outrage at Florida Governor DeSantis sending migrants to Martha's Vineyard and Texas Governor Abbott sending them to outside of Vice President Kamala Harris' residence

It comes amid outrage at Florida Governor DeSantis sending migrants to Martha’s Vineyard and Texas Governor Abbott sending them to outside of Vice President Kamala Harris’ residence

Waltz compared to the lack of anger at the Biden administration for sending'night flights' of migrants to other areas (Pictured: Bodycam footage, obtained through a Freedom of Information Act request by former Westchester County Executive Rob Astorino, shows migrants arriving at Westchester Airport on August 13, 2021 as part of the secret charter flight program)

Waltz compared to the lack of anger at the Biden administration for sending ‘night flights’ of migrants to other areas (Pictured: Bodycam footage, obtained through a Freedom of Information Act request by former Westchester County Executive Rob Astorino, shows migrants arriving at Westchester Airport on August 13, 2021 as part of the secret charter flight program)

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‘Last year, Martha Vineyard leadership said they’d love Martha’s Vineyard to be a “haven” for immigrants,’ Cruz said on Twitter. ‘But with just 50 illegal aliens, it just took 24 hour before they deported them out of the Vineyard!’ 

Meanwhile Texas state Attorney General Ken Paxton praised Governor Abbott’s initiative to send migrants to outside of Vice President Kamala Harris’ DC residence as ‘amazing.’

‘They’ve had to deal with this crisis over the last two years. And I love that they’re highlighting the hypocrisy,’ Paxton said of Abbott to Sean Hannity on his Fox show Friday night.

He pointed to the thousands of migrants that continue to come to El Paso and other parts of the Lone Star State even as state and local infrastructures buckle under the influx of people.

Paxton continued, ‘Del Rio, a town of 36,000, had 50 percent more people show up at their door, and we had to deal with it. There was no complaining by the liberal elite.’  

Cruz took direct aim at President Joe Biden on Saturday, calling him ‘the biggest human trafficker on the face of the planet’ on Twitter.

It comes amid revelations that despite White House fury at the GOP governors for sending migrants to sanctuary cities, El Paso’s Democrat-led city government has been doing the same for weeks – and is asking for the Biden administration to pay for it.

Texas Senator Ted Cruz defended Ron DeSantis sending migrants to Martha's Vineyard

Texas Senator Ted Cruz defended Ron DeSantis sending migrants to Martha’s Vineyard

Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton said'there was no complaining from the liberal elite' when Del Rio and other places in Texas were overwhelmed with an influx of asylum-seekers

Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton said ‘there was no complaining from the liberal elite’ when Del Rio and other places in Texas were overwhelmed with an influx of asylum-seekers

The Biden administration resumed its charter flights of underage migrants from the U.S.-Mexico border to Westchester, New York in April  Pictured, migrants disembarking from a flight in August 2021. It's worth noting these fights also operated during the day

The Biden administration resumed its charter flights of underage migrants from the U.S.-Mexico border to Westchester, New York in April  Pictured, migrants disembarking from a flight in August 2021. It’s worth noting these fights also operated during the day

Former Westchester County Executive Rob Astorino posted a video of buses at the airport in April that he said was carrying migrants coming from the border

Former Westchester County Executive Rob Astorino posted a video of buses at the airport in April that he said was carrying migrants coming from the border

Led by Mayor Oscar Leeser, a Democrat, the Texas border city has dispatched at least 28 charter buses filled with migrants to New York City since August 23, at a cost of more than $600,000, KFOX-TV reported this week. 

City officials say that they expect the buses to be paid for by Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA), as part of a quarterly reimbursement process covering emergency food and shelter for migrants.

The buses arranged by El Paso have escaped the intense criticism heaped on Abbott in Texas and DeSantis in Florida, whom the White House accused of treating migrants as ‘chattel’ and ‘political pawns.’

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GOP officials say they’re keen to give liberal sanctuary cities an insight into the strain uncontrolled illegal immigration is bringing to border communities.  

Conservatives were quick to point out the apparent double standard, with radio host Bruce Hooley tweeting: ‘Another example of, ‘When Democrats do it, it’s perfectly fine.” 

Led by Democratic Mayor Oscar Leeser (above) the Texas border city has dispatched at least 28 charter buses filled with migrants to New York City since August 23

Led by Democratic Mayor Oscar Leeser (above) the Texas border city has dispatched at least 28 charter buses filled with migrants to New York City since August 23

A charter bus that took a group of migrants from El Paso to New York City in August is seen above. The city has been arranging voluntary transit for migrants through free bus rides

A charter bus that took a group of migrants from El Paso to New York City in August is seen above. The city has been arranging voluntary transit for migrants through free bus rides

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Reporter Bill Melugin of KTTV observed: ‘The Democrat-led city of El Paso, TX has been sending its own buses of migrants to NYC, and just approved up to a $2 million contract for 16 months to bus even more migrants out of town.’ 

‘They are also requesting federal reimbursement. El Paso, however, is not being criticized,’ he added.

Abbott has been sending buses to New York, Chicago, and DC, including to the vice president’s doorstep, and this week DeSantis dispatched a plane with 50 migrants to Martha’s Vineyard, the wealthy Massachusetts island.

The White House has decried the Republican governors’ efforts, saying the migrants, mostly from Venezuela, were being used in a political stunt.

‘These were children. They were moms. They were fleeing communism. And what did Governor DeSantis and Governor Abbott do to them? They used them as political pawns, treated them like chattel,’ White House press secretary Karine Jean-Pierre said at a press briefing on Friday.

She said: ‘This is an issue that is inhumane it is abhorrent and we should not be using people, migrants, who are fleeing communism as a political pawn.’ 

White House press secretary Karine Jean-Pierre said at a press briefing on Friday that Abbott and DeSantis used migrants'as political pawns, treated them like chattel'

White House press secretary Karine Jean-Pierre said at a press briefing on Friday that Abbott and DeSantis used migrants ‘as political pawns, treated them like chattel’

Three new buses arrived at the Port Authority Bus Terminal in Manhattan early on Saturday (above). They are also thought to be from Texas, but Abbott didn't immediately comment

Three new buses arrived at the Port Authority Bus Terminal in Manhattan early on Saturday (above). They are also thought to be from Texas, but Abbott didn’t immediately comment

Representatives for Abbott and DeSantis did not immediately respond to requests for comment from DailyMail.com on Saturday afternoon. 

Since April, Abbott’s state government in Texas has transported more than 11,000 migrants by bus to Democrat-controlled states and cities, including 8,000 to DC and 2,500 to New York City.

At least 600 migrants from Texas have also been transported to Chicago since late August. 

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El Paso has been struggling to cope with an influx of migrants crossing the border illegally, mostly from Venezuela, that has overwhelmed local shelters and Border Patrol processing facilities.

Earlier this week, nearly 1,000 migrants had been dropped off to sleep on the streets of El Paso, without access to basic sanitation facilities. 

To alleviate the surge, the El Paso City-County Office of Emergency Management has been arranging voluntary transit for migrants through free bus rides, mostly to New York City, at least since June, according to the Texas Tribune. 

‘OEM has sponsored and provided transportation services for migrants out of El Paso, which is reimbursable through FEMA,’ Deputy City Manager Mario D’Agostino told the outlet. 

‘OEM has sponsored charter buses to include a recent transport to New York City, this was the preferred destination for those without any means to travel,’ added D’Agostino.

Migrants, mostly from Venezuela, queue to board a bus to New York at the Migrant Welcome Center managed by the city of El Paso and the Office of Emergency Management, in El Paso

Migrants, mostly from Venezuela, queue to board a bus to New York at the Migrant Welcome Center managed by the city of El Paso and the Office of Emergency Management, in El Paso

A migrant bus from Texas arrives at the Port Authority terminal in New York on August 29

A migrant bus from Texas arrives at the Port Authority terminal in New York on August 29

As well, the Biden has long been quietly chartering buses and plans to move migrants from the border to onward destinations, an apparent contradiction that Carine Hajjar noted in a Wall Street Journal opinion essay on Friday.

‘The White House calls Mr. Abbott’s busing “shameful,” but the Biden administration appears to be doing the same thing,’ wrote Hajjar.

On the other side, critics of Abbott and DeSantis say that the Republican governors are misleading migrants, after reports emerged that many who were flown to Martha’s Vineyard were told they would be offered housing and jobs in Boston. 

US Rep Seth Moulton, a Democrat from Massachusetts, accused DeSantis of orchestrating a political ploy with the lives of the migrants. 

‘Playing politics with people’s lives is what governors like George Wallace did during segregation,’ Moulton said, referring to Wallace’s tactics of tricking black Southerners to move north. ‘Ron DeSantis is trying to earn George Wallace’s legacy.’

Speaking on Thursday, DeSantis accused critics of his move to fly migrants to Martha’s Vineyard of ‘virtue signaling’, saying their concern for the welfare of the migrants was a ‘fraud’.

He said: ‘The minute even a small fraction of what those border towns deal with every day is brought to their front door, they go berserk, and they’re so upset that this is happening.’

https://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-11224551/GOP-officials-Florida-Texas-accuse-Democrats-hypocrisy-migrant-transportation.html?ns_mchannel=rss&ns_campaign=1490&ito=1490 GOP officials in Florida and Texas accuse Democrats of hypocrisy over migrant transportation



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