White House Responds After Illegal Immigrants Transported to Martha’s Vineyard

By Jack Phillips
Jack Phillips
Jack Phillips
Breaking News Reporter
Jack Phillips is a breaking news reporter at The Epoch Times based in New York.
September 15, 2022 Updated: September 15, 2022

The White House sharply criticized the governors of Texas and Florida for transporting illegal immigrants to Martha’s Vineyard and outside the Washington residence of Vice President Kamala Harris.

Texas Gov. Greg Abbott confirmed Thursday that he bused illegal immigrants from the border to near Harris’s home in the District of Columbia. And Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis took credit for flying dozens of illegal aliens from Florida to Martha’s Vineyard, a Massachusetts island that often draws the wealthy and powerful, including the Obamas, who own an estate there.

Illegal immigrants deserve better “than being left on the streets of D.C. or the streets of Martha’s Vineyard,” said White House press secretary Karine Jean-Pierre in response to a question about the governors’ recent actions.

Jean-Pierre then alleged the governors are “using migrants as political pawns” and described the incident as “reckless” and “shameful.”

For weeks, Abbott has sent dozens of buses filled with illegal immigrants—who he says voluntarily sign up for the trip—to New York, Washington, and Chicago. Top Democrat officials have decried the tactic and have even issued emergency declarations.

But Abbott, DeSantis, and other Republicans assert that the Biden administration’s policies on illegal immigration are deeply flawed and noted that after the White House rolled back Trump-era immigration rules, the number of illegal aliens crossing the border skyrocketed.

Illegal immigrants
Illegal immigrants from Central and South America wait near the residence of Vice President Kamala Harris after being dropped off in Washington on Sept. 15, 2022. (Kevin Dietsch/Getty Images)
illegal immgirants
Illegal immigrants from Venezuela, who boarded a bus in Texas, wait to be transported to a local church by volunteers after being dropped off outside the residence of Vice President Kamala Harris at the Naval Observatory in Washington on Sept. 15, 2022. (Stefani Reynolds/AFP via Getty Images)

Abbott, whose state has a lengthy border with Mexico, said that border communities in Texas cannot handle the current influx of people who are crossing the border illegally. By sending them to Democrat-run “sanctuary cities”—named as such due to their policy of resisting cooperation with federal immigration authorities—Abbott has argued that it’s designed to raise awareness about the issue.

Arizona Gov. Doug Ducey, also a Republican, has similarly bused illegal aliens to Washington and other areas. The mayors of Washington, New York City, and Chicago all have sounded the alarm over the local influx, drawing Republican cries of hypocrisy.

A recent report issued by the Federation for American Immigration Reform, or FAIR, found that some 4.9 million illegal aliens—or “the equivalent of the entire population of Ireland”—crossed the border under President Biden’s first 18 months in office. The group asserted that Biden’s policies are tantamount to “sabotage” of federal immigration laws, particularly due to the “incursion of lethal narcotics” that are being trafficked across the border.

Nonetheless, during Thursday’s briefing, Jean-Pierre echoed comments made by Harris in recent days about the border by declaring: “We agree that the border is secure”

“The border is secure, but we also have a broken immigration system, in particular over the last four years before we came in, and it needs to be fixed,” Harris told NBC host Chuck Todd over the past weekend. She didn’t elaborate on how the previous administration broke the system.

Jack Phillips
Breaking News Reporter
Jack Phillips is a breaking news reporter at The Epoch Times based in New York.