The White House said they’re working with local officials in Delaware to prepare amid reports that another flight of migrants was being sent to President Joe Biden’s home state.
At a briefing Tuesday White House Press Secretary Karine Jean-Pierre said they received word of the reported flight and were working with state officials and local service providers to “welcome them in orderly manner.”
Last week, two planes carrying 48 migrants were flown to Martha’s Vineyard by Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis. During the weekend, Texas Gov. Greg Abbott bused more migrants to Vice President Kamala Harris’ Washington home.
At a news conference Tuesday, DeSantis was asked if he was sending another flight to Delaware.
“I cannot confirm that,” DeSantis responded.
Jean-Pierre didn’t say how the White House heard of the latest flight but called the recent flights “political stunts.”
“What I can tell you that our heads up did not come from Governor DeSantis, because his only goal is, as he’s made it really quite clear, is to create chaos and use immigrants fleeing communism as political pawns,” Jean-Pierre said.
A representative from the Delaware Department of Health and Social Services spoke to reporters about the expected flight of migrants. Jill Fredel said her team, in coordination with volunteer aid organizations, are ready to meet all immediate needs of migrants, including food, shelter, medical and legal services.
Fredel said the Delaware governor’s office has had no outreach from either the Texas or Florida governor’s office, and have no indication on when the flight might arrive, if at all.
“The primary thing that we want to offer is compassionate humanitarian assistance. The folks who may be coming to our state have been through a very difficult journey. And this will be another leg on that journey,” Fredel said.
U.S. authorities are grappling with unusually large numbers of migrants crossing the border from Mexico amid rapidly changing demographics. The administration said Monday that people from Venezuela, Cuba and Nicaragua accounted for more than one of three migrants stopped at the border in August. Authorities stopped migrants 2.15 million times from October through August, the first time above 2 million during the government’s fiscal year.
DeSantis said the flights are shedding light on the Biden administration’s border policies.
“He inherited a border that wasn’t like this, he has created the crisis,” DeSantis said Tuesday.
The Republican governor also indicated that more migrant flights were in the works.
“It’s already made more of an impact than anyone thought it could possibly make but we’re gonna continue to make more of an impact,” DeSantis said. “At the end of the day, what we’re doing is not the ultimate solution, I think it’s opening peoples’ eyes to the solution which is, let’s have a secure border, let’s have ‘Remain in Mexico,’ let’s take the cartels seriously and let’s get with the program here.”
A local sheriff in Texas announced Monday that he had opened an investigation into last week’s flights to Martha’s Vineyard. DeSantis said the flights were voluntary.