(CBrief) – Fox News liberal contributor Juan Williams made controversial claims about illegal migrants who were sent last week to Martha’s Vineyard during a heated discussion on the issue Tuesday.
During the segment, Williams verbally assailed Florida Governor Ron DeSantis for sending the migrants to the left-leaning Massachusetts island and claimed that he “misled” the migrants in doing so.
“In this case, DeSantis is really using human beings as a, you know, political theater, and it’s really sad,” Williams charged, without evidence, to host Trace Gallagher.
“The reality is, that people who are used in this way, it’s a huge insult to Americans and to these people who are fleeing violence, oppression… that’s the reality and he’s making a joke out of it,” Williams added.
But the host pushed back, noting that President Joe Biden’s administration has literally been flying illegal migrants all over the country, including to Florida where local authorities have complained that they were never notified in advance.
“The president has been sending people from all over the country for more than a year on these planes and dropping them off in the dark of night in Westchester County… it’s the same thing. It’s okay for the president to drop off immigrants around the country,” Gallagher said.
“It’s not the same thing,” Williams interjected.
“These bus trips are voluntary,” Gallagher responded. “We have people down there. The people who get on these things are asked. They are not told to get on these planes and buses. They are asked —”
“They’re being misled, Trace!” Williams claimed, raising his voice.
After the two continued jockeying back and forth, at one point Gallagher admitted that some migrants who may have been told that jobs were waiting for them at their destination could have been misguided. But he stuck to his guns when he refused to allow Williams to claim that what Biden is doing is somehow different — and better — than what DeSantis and other border state Republican governors have done.
“The president has been sending people all over the country for more than a year in these planes and dropping them off in the dark of night,” Gallagher said as Williams simply shook his head and grumbled.
“It’s not the same thing,” Williams countered
“It is the same thing, Juan,” Gallagher reiterated.
For his part, DeSantis has denied that illegal aliens sent last week to Martha’s Vineyard were misinformed or misled, though Democrats and leftist critics claim he “falsely lured” or “enticed” the migrants to the island.
Several Democrats have also accused the Florida Republican governor of legal violations including “human trafficking,” the latter a charge leveled against him by California Gov. Gavin Newsom, who suggested as much in a letter sent last week to U.S. Attorney General Merrick Garland.
“I think that’s totally false,” he said in answer to a question from a reporter during a Friday news conference. “I think if you look, the folks that are contracted, not only do they give them a release form to sign, they actually give them a packet and in that packet included a map of Martha’s Vineyard. So it was obvious that that’s where they were going, and they gave that to them.
“And here’s the thing, it’s all voluntary because it’s just the type of thing where we think that’s the right way to do it,” DeSantis added, according to The Daily Wire. “I mean, I think that if the states could send, I would send back to Mexico or back to the home country.
“But here we are doing it voluntarily, they sign a release, and then they get a packet. So they did get a packet that had the map of Martha’s Vineyard. And they’re also treated, you know very well with all this, I mean, they’re treated well with meals and everything,” he continued.
The popular governor then addressed a claim made by left-wing figures on a CNN program last week who tried to liken his actions to the Holocaust.
“I saw somebody on CNN try to say, ‘sending 50 illegal aliens to wealthy Martha’s Vineyard is reminiscent of the Holocaust,’” DeSantis said. “And I just thought to myself, has the world gotten totally mad? I mean, these are voluntary transportation that they’re signing up for, but they’re given a good ride, they’re given everything. And that’s just you know, it’s a humane thing to do.”