Hakeem Jeffries rips DeSantis and Abbott, saying they need to act like governors and 'stop behaving like human traffickers'
- Hakeem Jeffries ripped governors Ron DeSantis and Greg Abbott over their shipping of migrants to liberal areas.
- Jeffries called the behavior of the governors "radical, reckless, regressive, and reprehensible."
House Democratic Caucus Chairman Hakeem Jeffries on Tuesday slammed Republican governors Ron DeSantis and Greg Abbott over their shipping of migrants to liberal areas, saying that the two politicians need to "stop behaving like human traffickers."
Jeffries told reporters at a press conference that the "behavior" of Florida governor DeSantis and Texas governor Abbot "is radical, reckless, regressive, and reprehensible."
"They should start behaving like governors and stop behaving like human traffickers," the New York congressman said. "They are putting politics over people in the most egregious way possible."
—The Recount (@therecount) September 20, 2022
When asked about Jeffries' comments during a press briefing on Tuesday, DeSantis responded: "When [President Joe] Biden is flying these people all over the fruited plain in the middle of the night, I didn't hear a peep out of those people."
"The only thing I hear them getting upset about is you have 50 [migrants] that end up in Martha's Vineyard," DeSantis said as he stated that the migrants were "hungry," "homeless," and "being treated horribly by Biden."
Abbott's office did not immediately respond to a request for comment by Insider on Tuesday.
DeSantis recently sparked a firestorm of criticism after he had about 50 migrants flown from Texas to the Massachusetts island of Martha's Vineyard unannounced last week. The migrants thought they were being sent to Boston for expedited work permits, according to NPR.
The immigrants have since been relocated to a military base in Cape Cod, Massachusetts.
Lawyers representing some of the migrants accused DeSantis of a "shameful political stunt" as they called on state and federal prosecutors to open a criminal probe into the situation.
A Texas county sheriff announced Monday that he had launched a criminal investigation into the matter. Bexar County Sheriff Javier Salazar, a Democrat, said a Venezuelan migrant was paid a "bird dog fee" to recruit about 50 migrants from an area around a migrant resource center in San Antonio, which is in Bexar County.
They were "lured under false pretenses" to stay at a hotel for a couple of days, flown to Florida, and then eventually flown to Martha's Vineyard for "little more than a photo op" and then they were "unceremoniously stranded," he said during a news conference on Monday.
"They were promised work, they were promised the solution to several of their problems," he said.
DeSantis spokesperson Taryn Fenske in a statement fired back at news of the investigation in Texas.
"Florida gave them an opportunity to seek greener pastures in a sanctuary jurisdiction that offered greater resources for them, as we expected," she said. "Unless the MA national guard has abandoned these individuals, they have been provided accommodations, sustenance, clothing and more options to succeed following their unfair enticement into the United States, unlike the 53 immigrants who died in a truck found abandoned in Bexar County this June."
In recent months, Abbott's administration has organized the bussing of thousands of migrants to the Democratic cities of Washington, DC, New York City, and Chicago.
Last week, he migrants by bus from Texas to Vice President Kamala Harris' doorstep at the Naval Observatory.
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