Delaware is on high alert for the possible arrival of immigrants from Texas

(CNN) – Delaware volunteers and state officials began making preparations on Tuesday after reports and flight plans surfaced suggesting a plane chartered to take migrants to Martha’s Vineyard last week was about to transport another group of migrants into the state.

As of Tuesday afternoon, however, there was still no sign of that flight, and the plane that was to leave Kelly Field in San Antonio hadn’t even made it to the departure airport.

“We are aware of the news and continue to prepare for the possibility of immigrants arriving in Delaware without warning,” Emily David Hershman, spokesperson for Delaware Governor John Carney, told CNN. “Our teams at DEMA [la agencia de manejo de emergencias] and DHSS [los servicios de salud del estado] they are working with community organizations and other partners to make sure immigrants arriving here have the support they need, ”referring to the Delaware Emergency Management Agency and the Delaware Health and Human Services Agency.

“We are coordinating with federal officials and are ready to welcome these families in an orderly fashion as they pursue their asylum claims.”

Last week a group of nearly 50 immigrants, most of them Venezuelans, were flown from Texas to Martha’s Vineyard, under arrangements made by Florida Governor Ron DeSantis. The migrants spent 44 hours on Martha’s Vineyard and have since been taken to Joint Base Cape Cod.

DeSantis, a Republican running for re-election this year, said he wanted to draw attention to the immigration crisis on the US-Mexico border and criticize the Biden administration’s immigration policies.

Texas Governor Greg Abbott, another Republican candidate for re-election, bused thousands of immigrants to New York and Washington, both Democratic-run, over the summer.

Senator Chris Coons, a Democrat from Delaware, told CNN that he was on the phone, even for “much of last night”, with community leaders “to ensure that they provide an appropriate, welcoming and supportive welcome in Delaware. “. case immigrants are sent to your state.

“What a cruel find for a group of people seeking asylum. ‘There will be work and housing on both sides of this flight, get on this plane,'” Coons said. “And then they get off the plane and I’m like, no. You’re a thousand miles away from where your audience will be.”

Earlier, an official from the Department of Homeland Security told CNN that the agency contacted the state of Delaware and provided general guidance, as well as contacted non-governmental organizations in the area in case the flight takes place this time. Tuesday.

Overnight flight tracking sites showed a flight plan filed with a commercial programmer and the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) involving one of the Ultimate Jet charter planes used on the flights. Martha’s Vineyard and that looked like that flight. The sites listed a route from Kelly Field to San Antonio to a short stop in Crestview, Florida, and then to Georgetown, Delaware.

CNN witnessed the arrival of the volunteers at the Delaware Coastal Airport in Georgetown as the plans were unclear.

White House spokesperson Karine Jean-Pierre declined to say how the White House got news that a migrant plane could arrive in Delaware.

“I don’t have the details of who or where we got the news, but I can tell you that we have been coordinating closely with the people of Delaware, the Delaware officials,” he said.

“What I can tell you is that our advice did not come from Governor DeSantis because his only goal is, as he made very clear, to create chaos and to use immigrants fleeing communism as political pawns,” he said. “So it’s about creating a political theater.”

DeSantis has repeatedly suggested sending immigrants to Delaware

Over the past nine months, DeSantis has repeatedly suggested that Delaware would be a potential landing point for immigrants transported through Florida’s new relocation program, targeting the president’s home state more than any other Democratic destination, often with the great applause from the Republican audience.

DeSantis initially issued the threat as a warning to the federal government not to send large groups of prosecuted immigrants to the Florida border. At the February Conservative Political Action Conference, DeSantis told the crowd that “if Biden dumps illegal aliens into Florida from the southern border, he’ll divert them to Delaware.”

When that didn’t happen, DeSantis started pitching the idea of ​​using state dollars to transport immigrants straight from the border to Biden’s doorstep.

“They don’t like the red states sending illegal aliens into their communities,” DeSantis said last month at a rally in Pittsburgh for GOP candidates in that city. “We are happy to help with anything when we can, including not only shipping to New York and Washington, but also shipping to Delaware.”

In an unrelated press conference Tuesday afternoon, DeSantis, when asked, said “I can’t confirm” the Delaware reports, but he defended the Martha’s Vineyard flights as being useful to the immigrants involved.

“They were hungry, they were homeless, they had no chance,” DeSantis said. “They were given the opportunity to be in the jurisdiction of perhaps the most elegant sanctuary in the world. And of course the people of Martha’s Vineyard are said to have deported them the next day. They could have absorbed it. They decided not to.”

In fact, Martha’s Vineyard and Massachusetts state officials coordinated with the military to move migrants to the Joint Base on Cape Cod.

Flights to Martha’s Vineyard have been severely denounced by the White House, Democratic officials and immigration lawyers who say immigrants have been misled about their final destination and used for political maneuvering. Lawyers for many of the immigrants said on Monday that the brochures provided to their clients were “highly misleading” and “used to entice (their) clients to travel on the pretext that (resettlement) support was available to them.”

A Texas Democratic sheriff said Monday night that his agency will open an investigation into Martha’s Vineyard flights, saying it believed they were “exploited and misled”.

However, on Monday evening DeSantis defended his actions on Fox News, calling Martha’s Vineyard a “sanctuary jurisdiction,” a term for locality with policies designed to limit cooperation or participation in federal law enforcement.

“They signed all the consent forms to go and then the vendor who is doing this for Florida provided them with a package that had a map of Martha’s Vineyard, had the numbers for the different services that are on Martha’s Vineyard,” he said. said DeSantis. “Why wouldn’t they want to go, considering where they were? They were in really bad shape and they were cleaned up, everything, treated well.”

US Customs and Border Protection (CBP) meetings on the border with Mexico have already surpassed two million this year, according to the agency’s data, with the figures rising due to migration from countries like Venezuela, Nicaragua and Cuba .

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