DeSantis’ Migrant Transports Given Brochure Informing Them of Massachusetts Refugee Benefits

September 19, 2022 Updated 9:00 PM ET


MARTHA’S VINEYARD (FLV) – Before being sent to Martha’s Vineyard, migrants flown by Gov. Ron DeSantis were reportedly handed brochures meant to inform them of “Massachusetts Refugee Benefits.”

Popular Information published the brochure said to have been given to the migrants. Taryn Fenske, communications director for the governor, told Florida’s Voice the brochure was legitimate and that the information provided was accurate.

The brochure told migrants where they would be going – Massachusetts – and listed various benefits and services the state provides to lawful refugees.

“Resettlement agencies who resettle refugees under the Match Grant Program provide cash assistance and in-kind support for refugees for an additional 90 day beyond the normal 30-day period for Reception and Placement assistance,” one paragraph read.

The document went on to explain that the state’s agencies have housing, clothing, food, schooling, and other methods of assistance for refugees resettled under the Match Grant Program.

The Massachusetts Office for Refugees and Immigrants (ORI) explains these benefits.

One program – Refugee Employment Services (RES) – is listed on the brochure one reporter said included “fake” information. The below excerpt came directly from the Massachusetts website and is present on the brochure:

Provides targeted services for both early employment and long-term self-sufficiency through an integrated model including English and Literacy instruction; employment-related case management; employment readiness; access to vocational skill trainings; and job placement, retention and upgrade services.

Massachusetts State Government

Refugee Cash Assistance (RCA), displayed on the brochure, also came directly from the state website:

Provides up to 8 months of cash assistance for income-eligible refugees without dependent children, who reside in Massachusetts. 

Massachusetts State Government

The middle section of the brochure titled Reception and Placement Services additionally comes directly from the Massachusetts state website:

During the first 90 days after a refugee’s arrival in Massachusetts, resettlement agencies provide basic needs support including:

– assistance with housing

– furnishings

– food and other basic necessities

– clothing, and

– transportation to job interviews and job training

– assistance in applying for social security cards

– registering children for school

– using public transportation, facilities, and services

– community and cultural orientation

Massachusetts State Government

Reporter Judd Legum, who first released the brochure, claimed “none of this, however, is true,” in regards to the benefits listed.

The migrants in question “absolutely do not have access to cash, housing, and other resettlement benefits which are provided through both federal funds and partnerships with faith-based [organizations],” Matt Cameron, immigration attorney, reportedly told Legum.

However, the brochure does not say migrants immediately have access to the benefits, and the details come directly from the state government website.

Florida Democrats provided scathing remarks to Gov. Ron DeSantis after the administration flew two planes of illegal migrants from Florida to Martha’s Vineyard, even though most Democrats approved the budget that allotted the money for the transport.

“Reminder: As public servants and community members we make choices. We have a choice to treat immigrants as “other” and political pawns, or we can treat one another with dignity, love and respect. Y’all know what choice I’ll always make,” said Democrat state Rep. Anna Eskamani.

Florida House Democrat Leaders held a press conference to discuss their request for the Legislature to instruct Gov. Ron DeSantis to “cease his inappropriate use of taxpayer money to apparently intercept, deceive, and transport asylum seeking migrants.”

House Democrat Leaders claim this use of state funds is not what was intended or described in law and say the migrants seeking asylum may be Venezuelan political refugees fleeing an oppressive regime, arguing they might not be unlawfully present in the United States.

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Florida’s Voice is a patriotic news network that you can trust to deliver the truth with no hidden agenda. Founder and Editor in Chief Brendon Leslie left his job in mainstream news to practice journalism as it should be, unbiased and unbossed.

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