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DeSantis expected on Cape Cod — 16 miles from site where migrants landed

Florida governor Ron DeSantis in 2020.
Office of the Governor of Florida
Florida governor Ron DeSantis in 2020.

Florida Governor Ron DeSantis is coming to Cape Cod — just 16 miles from where he orchestrated a plan to send 49 South American migrants to Martha’s Vineyard.

The Republican will attend a lunch in Cotuit on Saturday to fundraise for his presidential bid, the Boston Globe first reported. Tickets for the event, hosted by a number of big donor Republicans, are reportedly $3,300 each.

It comes just weeks after the presidential hopeful reportedly had toslash more than a third of his campaign staffamid campaign finance concerns.

DeSantis’s trip, which is believed to be his first to the region since the migrants arrived last September, has drawn criticism from local Democrats who say the 49 migrants were used as political pawns and lured onto flights with the false promise of jobs.

State Representative Dylan Fernandes, a Falmouth Democrat who represents the region including—including Edgartown, where the migrants were temporarily sheltered in a Church—slammed the presidential hopeful.

“Hearing that DeSantis is coming to Cape Cod, to the community where refugee families he exploited for his political gain now live, to beg for money for his failing campaign. What a waste of money,” Fernandes tweeted. “He is a coward who bullies people weaker than him and he will never be president.”

Several migrants told CAI and NPR that they felt lied to after realizing no one on the island had been expecting the group of men, women, and children. They said they were angry that they’d be used, and fearful of the future.

At the time, a spokesperson for DeSantis sent a statement to NPR that in part read, "States like Massachusetts, New York and California will better facilitate the care of these individuals who they have invited into our country by incentivizing illegal immigration."

Since then a Texas sheriff has recommended criminal charges for the organizers of the migrants flight .

Eve Zuckoff covers the environment and human impacts of climate change for CAI.

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