Local authorities reported that about 50 migrants unexpectedly arrived by plane on Martha’s Vineyard on Wednesday, escalating a Republican-led state strategy that has seen migrants sent by the busload to liberal strongholds like New York and Washington to protest the sharp increase in illegal immigration under President Biden.
According to State Senator Julian Cyr, a Massachusetts Democrat who represents Cape Cod, Martha’s Vineyard, and Nantucket, the migratory group, which included children, came on two flights at 3 p.m. without prior notice. In order to essentially put up the reaction that we would do in the case of a hurricane, officials and volunteers from the island’s six communities “truly moved heaven and earth,” the official added.
There was misunderstanding on the ground about who transported the refugees to Martha’s Vineyard, a well-known retreat for the wealthy and powerful, as they received Covid-19 testing, food, and clothing. Although migrants claimed to have began the day in San Antonio, Florida’s governor’s office claimed responsibility.
The two flights, according to Taryn M. Fenske, the communications director for Florida Governor Ron DeSantis, were a part of a governmental initiative to transport undocumented immigrants to locations deemed to be “sanctuary cities.” The $12 million budgeted by the Florida Legislature for the transportation programme this year.
States that encourage illegal immigration through their classification as “sanctuary states” and support for the Biden administration’s open border policies, according to Ms. Fenske, would better facilitate the care of these people who they have invited into our nation.
One of the migrants, who requested anonymity and went by Leonel, remarked in Spanish that he had “never seen anything like” the generosity of the residents of Martha’s Vineyard. He received a set of shoes from them.
Leonel, who has no family or friends in the US, claimed that he hasn’t slept well in three months. Three months have passed since I last wore new pants. or footwear.
Leonel, 45, claimed to have fled Venezuela around three months prior, travelling through Central America and Mexico on his way north before navigating the treacherous Darién Gap between Colombia and Panama. His initial effort to enter the United States was unsuccessful. At Piedras Negras, Mexico, he succeeded in crossing the Rio Grande on his second attempt.
Before being freed in San Antonio, where he and other migrants were ultimately told they could travel to Massachusetts, Leonel spent many days in immigration custody. They concurred.
In a statement, Terry MacCormack, the press secretary for Massachusetts Governor Charlie Baker, claimed that his office was in contact with local island authorities who were offering the migrants “short-term shelter assistance.”
According to state representative Dylan Fernandes, the majority of the migrants appear to be from Venezuela. Before being escorted across the street to the local high school and finally to St. Andrew’s Episcopal Church in Edgartown, an ex-whaling town that is the most well-kept on the island, they got minimal relief services at Martha’s Vineyard Community Services in Oak Bluffs.
Even major American communities have had difficulty adjusting to the influx of migrants who come “with little to no notice,” as Illinois Governor J.B. Pritzker phrased it in a disaster proclamation on Wednesday. He referred to the 500 migrants who had been transported by bus from Texas to Chicago and needed an urgent refuge and medical attention.
Mr. Pritzker said in a statement that “here in Illinois, we are treating them as people while other states may be treating these vulnerable families as pawns.”
The difficulty encountered by Martha’s Vineyard, which has around 20,000 residents year-round, may be even more severe.
According to the Rev. Chip Seadale, St. Andrew’s made the choice to host the refugees for the night when they learned they had nowhere else to go. A member had contacted him, knowing that the church provides shelter for those who are homeless throughout the winter.
According to Barbara Rush, the warden at St. Andrew’s, the only homeless shelter on the island has space for 10 people and one restroom. However, it is closed during the summer. She remarked that, for the size of the neighbourhood, “Fifty individuals without homes is an astonishing number.” However, this community is powerful and capable.
President Barack Obama and John Kerry both own houses on Martha’s Vineyard, but despite its reputation as a summer retreat for the wealthy and powerful, the island suffers from a housing shortage due to its high median property price of roughly $1 million. The timing of the migrants’ arrival coincides with the conclusion of the summer season and the end of seasonal employment.
On Martha’s Vineyard, Ms. Rush claimed, “There is virtually no employment in the winter.” She also noted the lack of any cheap accommodation. “Most people who commute and have lower-to middle-income jobs reside beyond the island.”
She said that local churches, community organisations, and eateries were all contributing. Sergio Racig, a property manager who went to the chapel to assist with translation, was one of the volunteers. He said, “They are glad to see all the support from the island. Some of them were tortured by the Mexican cartel. Some very, very awful things occurred to them.
The Republican presidential candidate, Mr. DeSantis, has frequently criticised the federal government for sending migrants to Florida and threatened to send them to liberal enclaves in their place. He has regularly cited Delaware, where Mr. Biden is from, as a potential location.