As people in Massachusetts work to help dozens of immigrants flown to their state this week by Gov. Ron DeSantis, some religious leaders and immigrants living in Central Florida are outraged.

Several of them accused the governor of using those migrants as political pawns.

A church and immigrant advocates denounced DeSantis for setting up flights and suggested he’s acting like the leaders of the countries those immigrants are fleeing.

Two planes arrived in Martha’s Vineyard this week, carrying about 50 men, women and children, mostly from Venezuela.

DeSantis took credit for it, saying since Massachusetts is a sanctuary state, people there basically invited them.

But WESH 2 also learned many of the migrants have said they were never in Florida.

They were in Texas, and lawyers who have interviewed them said say they were told lies to persuade them to get on the planes, including that there would be homes and jobs waiting on them.

“He rejected women, children and men who were escaping countries that were oppressed by dictatorships and in doing that, he didn’t behave like an American. He behaved like the very same leaders of the countries those individuals were leaving,” Father Jose Rodriguez, of Iglesia Episcopal Jesus de Nazaret, said.

“We will not treat immigrants or anybody like this. Today, it’s immigrants. Tomorrow, it could be you,” Stephanie Wall of the Florida Immigrant Coalition said.

While the people in Martha’s Vineyard had been scrambling to set up shelter and gather food for the immigrants, officials said today they’re setting up a more stable shelter for them at Joint Base Cape Cod.

By erick