Delaware preps for possible migrant flights to Georgetown

Delaware Coastal Airport in Georgetown, Sussex county. (Delaware Coastal Airport)

Delaware Coastal Airport in Georgetown, Sussex county. (Delaware Coastal Airport)

Delaware is preparing for the possible arrival of migrants flown to the state from Texas or Florida after their governors had talked about possibly sending planes filled with people, similar to what happened last week in Martha’s Vineyard. Reports spread on social media after the same jet used to transport migrants to Massachusetts was scheduled to land at a small airport in Georgetown, Delaware Tuesday afternoon.

According to the FlightAware website which tracks flights across the country, the jet was scheduled to fly from eastern Texas to the panhandle of Florida before arriving at the Delaware Coastal Airport.

State leaders coordinated with nonprofit groups Tuesday, preparing to offer potential arrivals with immigration services and other resources.

“We’re aware of the reports, and continue to prepare for the possibility of migrants arriving in Delaware unannounced,” said Governor John Carney’s Director of Communications Emily David Hershman. “Our team at DEMA and DHSS are working with community organizations and other partners to make sure that migrants who arrive here have the support that they need.”

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State officials have directed organizations not to make public statements and to redirect media inquiries to the state.

Georgetown-based nonprofit La Esperanza, which serves the Latino community, is among those preparing for the arrival. Executive director Jennifer Fuqua stated that they cannot share any further information until further notice from the State of Delaware.

Georgetown Mayor Bill West said the town is preparing to welcome the migrants.

“We’re getting our resources together to take care of them,” West said. “We’ve got two great nonprofits, the First State Community Action and La Esperanza. They’re both taking Spanish-speaking people out there to talk and interpret and give them the supplies they need. And then we’re looking to put them in housing through the state.”

The Georgetown airport is about 20 miles from President Biden’s house near Rehoboth Beach.

Biden was asked about the comments from Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis planning to send migrants to Delaware today after an event at the White House. Biden quipped, “He should come visit. We have a beautiful shoreline.”

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Asked about the higher number of people trying to cross the southern border, Biden pointed to an increase in travelers from Venezuela, Nicaragua, and Cuba. “We’re working with Mexico and other countries to see if we can stop the flow. That’s the difference,” Biden said.

A number of people sent to Martha’s Vineyard last week said they were lured by an unknown woman they refer to as Perla who said they’d be taken to Boston where they would be provided with expedited work papers, employment, housing, and other solutions.

A sheriff in Texas is investigating whether the migrants were victims of crimes.

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