Hispanic House Republicans are not necessarily cheering on the move from Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis (R) to fly a group of 50 Venezuelan migrants to Martha’s Vineyard, Mass., but they say that the stunt exposes problems with the Biden administration’s border and immigration policies.

“It’s cute on the surface. But what worries me is the normalcy of what is happening on the border. There’s nothing normal about it – busing people, flying people, nothing normal about that,” said Rep. Tony Gonzales (R-Texas). “We have to be careful about turning politics into policy. And that’s what I see. I see it’s so close to the midterms, and it’s just dangerous.”

The Martha’s Vineyard move from DeSantis on Wednesday follows Texas Gov. Greg Abbott (R) using a similar tactic to send migrants on buses from Texas to liberal cities like New York and Washington, D.C. Two buses of migrants arrived outside Vice President Harris’s residence in Washington on Thursday.

Democrats say that DeSantis and Abbott are using the migrants as political pawns, accusing the governors of racism and cruelty.

Those concerns are not landing with Republicans, who point to Biden administration programs to fly unaccompanied adolescent minors who crossed the border to be with relatives or vetted sponsors.

“He’s flying and he’s busing people to some of the states. So it’s the same thing,” said Rep. María Elvira Salazar (R-Fla.). 

Rep. Mario Díaz-Balart (R-Fla.) suggested that those who are upset by the migrant arrivals in sanctuary jurisdictions and Democratic strongholds are showing hypocrisy.

“What is the problem?” he told reporters. “If this is good, and then – and these communities should be welcoming – should be welcoming this from happening.” 

Pressed on the fact that some of the communities were not equipped to handle the migrants, Díaz-Balart said that is the point.

“Here’s the problem: That none of the communities where this is happening are equipped,” Díaz-Balart said.

“What it needs to demonstrate is that the Biden administration needs to get control of the border, and I think that’s what the governor is trying to do,” said Rep. Carlos Giménez (R-Fla.). “The Biden administration is failing America by not controlling the border. That’s – I think that’s the point that the governor is trying to make.”

Some said that the migrant flights and buses make the point that immigration reform is needed.

“Why don’t we fix the immigration problem? Dignity is the answer,” said Salazar, referencing the name of her immigration reform legislation that would boost border security while providing certain migrants legal status.

The last serious attempt at bipartisan immigration reform in 2013 failed.

“It seems like it seems like everybody wants to bus or fly people all over the country instead of going – instead of going, ‘Hey, our immigration system is broken. We have to fix it,’” Gonzales said, adding that he thinks the answer is to secure the border.

Rebecca Beitsch contributed.

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