Ron DeSantis’s immigration stunt has annoyed Greg Abbott's allies: report
Florida Governor Ron DeSantis visits 2019 Miami Open at the Hard Rock Stadium in 2019. (Leonard Zhukovsky / Shutterstock.com)

Florida Republican Gov. Ron DeSantis whined at a GOP event last year that his fellow governor, Greg Abbott (R-TX) has it easy looking good to voters because he has a 1,254-mile border with Mexico that he can blame for all of his problems.

According to a New York Times report about the two governors, DeSantis and Abbott, the Texas governor "stole the show," from a threat that DeSantis had made earlier this year that he would bus immigrants from Florida to President Joe Biden's home in Delaware.

DeSantis runs the risk of losing the votes of those communities if he starts deporting their family members. So, DeSantis used another method, he simply kidnapped asylum seekers from Texas, lied to them, and shipped them off.

The Wall Street Journal reported that according to the Border Patrol data, Cuba, Venezuela and Nicaragua are the countries of origin of the majority of border crossers. Deporting those immigrants seeking asylum isn't the best campaign message for DeSantis. At the same time, it's hacking off Republicans in Texas.

"But Mr. DeSantis’s stunt also annoyed an entirely different group — fellow Republicans in Austin, including some of the allies and aides of Gov. Greg Abbott of Texas," the Times reported. "Publicly, Mr. Abbott has not criticized Mr. DeSantis’s migrant flights from his state. 'Every state that wants to help, I’m happy for it,' said Dave Carney, Mr. Abbott’s top campaign strategist."

Behind closed doors, however, Abbott was not happy. No one gave a heads up to anyone where DeSantis took the immigrants so that they could have food and services waiting to help them. DeSantis also didn't tell Abbott he was coming into Texas and kidnapping his immigrants.

"Mr. Abbott had spent months — and millions of state tax dollars — methodically orchestrating a relocation program that, since April, had bused 11,000 migrants to Washington, New York and Chicago," the Times said. "Mr. DeSantis’s adaptation was considerably smaller."

He ultimately got more attention, however, because he flew them on a fancy private plane to Martha's Vineyard. No one knew they were coming and churches and groups were forced to mobilize quickly to help the people when they arrived. Since the island is seasonal, they've since been sent to the mainland, about 25 miles north, where there are more people to offer them housing and services.

"It immediately put the national spotlight on Mr. DeSantis, garnering headlines and earning him praise from Republicans and condemnation from Democrats," the Times noted. "It also led to an investigation by the sheriff in San Antonio and a lawsuit from migrants who said they had been lured onto the planes under false pretenses. Mr. DeSantis grabbed the attention of right-wing America, using Mr. Abbott’s tactic, on Mr. Abbott’s turf, to bigger and more dramatic effect."

Read the full report at the New York Times.