The White House has been in touch with officials in Delaware amid reports that Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis (R) may be flying migrants to President Biden’s home state.
White House press secretary Karine Jean-Pierre told reporters that the administration is coordinating with state officials and local service providers in Delaware to ensure they are prepared to welcome migrant families upon their arrival.
Officials are bracing for the arrival of migrants in Biden’s home state after reporters noted that a plane DeSantis used to fly migrants to Martha’s Vineyard, Mass., last week is scheduled to travel from Texas to Delaware.
Jean-Pierre would not say how the White House was alerted to the potential arrival of migrants in Delaware, but that it did not come from DeSantis’s office.
“I can tell you we’ve been closely coordinating with the folks in Delaware, the officials in Delaware,” she said. “I can tell you our heads up did not come from Gov. DeSantis, because his only goal, as he’s made it really clear, is to create chaos and use immigrants fleeing communism as political pawns.”
Asked if the White House had reached out to DeSantis about the issue to foster some sort of understanding, Jean-Pierre said, “There’s no understanding to be reached. They're using people who are leaving communist countries as a political stunt.”
The debate over immigration has heated up in recent days as the number of arrests along the southwestern border in one year hit 2 million, a new record.
DeSantis, Texas Gov. Greg Abbott (R) and Arizona Gov. Doug Ducey (R) have been flying and busing migrants to "sanctuary" jurisdictions that say they won’t report immigrants who entered the country illegally to law enforcement.
DeSantis flew two planes of migrants to Martha’s Vineyard on Wednesday, an action that is under investigation by Texas authorities.
Abbott has repeatedly made similar moves, including sending two buses of migrants to Vice President Harris’s residence in Washington that arrived on Thursday.
The White House and other Democrats have derided the governors’ tactics as political theater that endanger the migrants being sent to unknown locations under false pretenses. Jean-Pierre on Tuesday responded to questions about the border by arguing the Biden administration inherited a broken immigration system and pointing to a legislative framework the president put out when he took office 20 months ago.