The White House was in contact with officials in Delaware after reports that Florida Governor Ron DeSantis (R) could fly migrants to President Biden’s home state.
White House press secretary Karine Jean-Pierre told reporters that the government is coordinating with state officials and local service providers in Delaware to ensure they are ready to host migrant families when they arrive.
Officials are preparing for migrants to arrive in Biden’s home state after reporters discovered that a plane that DeSantis used to fly migrants to Martha’s Vineyard, Mass., last week is to travel from Texas to Delaware.
Jean-Pierre wouldn’t say how the White House was made aware of the possible arrival of migrants in Delaware, but that it wasn’t from DeSantis’ office.
“I can tell you that we’ve coordinated closely with the people in Delaware, the officials in Delaware,” she said. “I can tell you that our heads up didn’t come from Governor DeSantis because his only goal, as he has really made clear, is to create chaos and use immigrants fleeing communism as political farmers.”
Asked whether the White House had contacted DeSantis about the issue in order to promote a certain understanding, Jean-Pierre said: “There is no agreement. They use people leaving communist countries as a political ploy.”
The debate over immigration has intensified in recent days as the number of arrests along the southwestern border reached 2 million in one year, a new record.
DeSantis, governor of Texas Greg Abbott (R) and Doug Ducey (R), governor of Arizona, have flown and brought migrants to “havens” who say they will not report immigrants who have entered the country illegally to law enforcement.
DeSantis flew two migrant planes to Martha’s Vineyard on Wednesday, an action that is currently being investigated by Texas authorities.
Abbott has repeatedly taken similar steps, including sending two migrant buses to Vice President Harris’s residence in Washington, which arrived on Thursday.
The White House and other Democrats have ridiculed the governors’ tactic as a political theater that threatens migrants being sent to unknown places under false pretenses. Jean-Pierre responded to questions about the border on Tuesday by arguing that the Biden government had inherited a broken immigration system and pointed to a legal framework presented by the president when he took office 20 months ago.