Karine Jean-Pierre Likens Migrant Flights to Martha's Vineyard to a Smuggling Operation


White House Press Secretary Karine Jean-Pierre is suggesting that migrants were deceived into getting onto flights to Martha’s Vineyard by people using tactics similar to human smugglers.

During a press briefing on Friday, Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis (R) and Texas Gov. Greg Abbott (R) received heavy criticism from the press secretary over the tactic of transporting migrants to different parts of the country.

“Yesterday, two Republican governors reportedly lured 100 asylum seekers, including children, onto planes and buses with false premises, and then abandoned them on the side of a busy road thousands of miles away with nothing — with nothing — but ziplock bags of their belongings in hand,” Jean-Pierre said.

She continued, “These were children, they were moms, they were fleeing communism. And what did Gov. DeSantis and Gov. Abbott do to them? They used them as political pawns. Treated them like chattel in a cruel, premeditated political stunt.”

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She also noted that Florida chartered planes to carry “migrants out of a different state” to Martha’s Vineyard.

It was estimated that 50 migrants were flown to the island. And local officials told CNN they believe all of the migrants were Venezuelan.

Additionally, Jean-Pierre pointed to reports that migrants were allegedly misled about where the plane would take them.

NPR reported on Thursday that “a number of migrants” believed they were being flown to Boston, not Martha’s Vineyard.

Migrants also told the outlet that an individual identified as “Perla” allegedly lured them onto the flights by claiming that they would be granted expedited work papers.

One migrant told NPR, “She (Perla) offered us help. Help that never arrived.”

“Now we are here. We got on the plane with a vision of the future, of making it,” he added.

Jean-Pierre said, “These are the kinds of tactics we see from smugglers in places like Mexico and Guatemala. And for what? A photo-op. Because these governors care [more] about creating political theater than creating actual solutions to help folks who are fleeing communism.”

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Speaking to reporters on Thursday, DeSantis said, “We are not a sanctuary state, and it’s better to be able to go to a sanctuary jurisdiction, and yes, we will help facilitate that transport for you to be able to go to greener pastures.”

“Every community in America should be sharing in the burdens. It shouldn’t all fall on a handful of red states,” he added.

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