While Democrats in “sanctuary cities” suddenly decry the transportation of illegal migrants to their communities, the same outcry was mute when the Biden administration sent “ghost flights” into New York, Pennsylvania and Florida, Rep. Michael Waltz told Fox News on Thursday.
Waltz, R-Fla., reacted to comments earlier this year from former Westchester County, N.Y., Executive Rob Astorino, who lambasted the Biden administration for secretive “ghost flights” that had been landing in the dead of night at an airport in Purchase, N.Y.
Migrants there were then at times loaded onto buses – some of which reportedly then violated New York State’s commercial-vehicle-free parkways laws – and headed for Long Island and throughout the suburbs.
“Yeah, 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,” he said.
“But if you have Governor DeSantis or 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.”
DeSantis, following through on an earlier public pledge, sent a plane full of migrants from Florida to Martha’s Vineyard, Mass., a tony liberal island enclave south of Boston.
Local Massachusetts officials ripped DeSantis’s move as inhumane, despite the fact one county commissioner openly invited illegal immigrants to Martha’s Vineyard only one year ago.
“I would love Martha’s Vineyard to become a haven for new immigrants to this country, but Senator Cruz has no idea what he’s talking about regarding a ‘border crisis,'” Dukes County Commissioner Keith Chatinover told the MVTimes in October 2021.
Waltz said the only difference between what the Department of Homeland Security has done under President Biden and what DeSantis and the other Republicans have done is that the GOP governors have transported the migrants in broad daylight to show the extent of the crisis.
“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,” he said.
In a statement, DeSantis’ office said blue states like Massachusetts, California and New York appear better able to “facilitate the care” for migrants they’ve “invited into our country by incentivizing illegal immigration through their designation as ‘sanctuary states’ –and support for the Biden Administration’s open border policies.”
Republicans’ attempts to relieve the pressure on their states has been criticized by Democrats for some time, as District of Columbia Mayor Muriel Bowser and New York City Mayor Eric Adams – who both lead sanctuary cities – have ripped Abbott for busing migrants to their cities.
Texas-originated buses have dropped migrants near Union Station as well as Vice President Kamala Harris’ official Naval Observatory residence in Washington and in Hell’s Kitchen, Manhattan.
Earlier this year, another state where ghost flights were landing, Pennsylvania, saw state Senate Republicans put forth a resolution that would redirect those flights to Delaware – Biden’s home state.
At the time, Pennsylvania Republican gubernatorial candidate Doug Mastriano released a report listing DHS data tabulating 938 domestic migrant flights accounting for 51,750 non-citizens as of January.
That bill’s chief sponsor, Sen. Mario Scavello of Mount Pocono, asked at the time how many migrants Biden has flown into his home state – which features New Castle Airport, not far from the president’s personal residence, and a handful of smaller airfields.
“If it is good enough for Pennsylvania, then why not redirect the relocation to Delaware?” he said.