Migrants and refugees are on the move

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The migrants and refugees from Venezuela have left St. Andrew’s Church for Joint Base Cape Cod.
Buses rolled from St. Andrew’s at about 10 am and headed for the Steamship Authority. They arrived at about 10:30 am on Vineyard Transit Authority buses and a Yankee bus was waiting. The bus and passengers loaded onto the MV Governor and will be taken to Joint Base Cape Cod via Woods Hole.

Jhorman Cuicas, one of the migrans, told The Times he wishes he could stay.

On board the Governor, another migrant named Paolo told The Times, they were used politically, but he enjoyed the experience on the Vineyard. “The Island is beautiful and the people are very good,” he said.

A passenger on the Governor named Mark Allen, with his dog Coco, welcomed the migrants to America.

The mood was jubilant as migrants, some wearing Martha’s Vineyard Regional High School athletic attire, embraced volunteers they had come to know over their two night stay at St. Andrew’s Church and then walked through a corridor of press to waiting VTA buses. Some migrants carried luggage, others had a child in tow. One man smiled and put his hand over his heart before boarding a bus. Another man gave an enthusiastic thumbs up. 

Edgartown Police Chief Bruce McNamee guided each migrant onto the buses. Larkin Stallings, a Martha’s Vineyard Community Services board member, Jackie Stallings, co-owner of the Ritz, and Dukes County Manager Martina Thornton were among those who said goodbye to the migrants as they headed to the buses.

Meanwhile, the Dukes County Emergency Managers issued a press release confirming that the Baker-Polito Administration announced new shelter and humanitarian support at Joint Base Cape Cod for the approximately 50 migrants who arrived in Martha’s Vineyard this week. The Massachusetts Emergency Management Agency (MEMA) is coordinating efforts among state and local officials to ensure access to food, shelter and essential services for these men, women and children. Governor Charlie Baker also plans to activate up to 125 members of the Massachusetts National Guard as part of this relief effort.  

The migrants and refugees have been receiving shelter and food at St. Andrew’s Church since their arrival on Wednesday.

On Friday morning there was a joyful atmosphere outside the church and along Winter Street as the migrants and refugees took group photos and chatted with journalists from around the United States. 

According to the press release, Joint Base Cape Cod is a facility already designated by MEMA as an emergency shelter in Barnstable County. The base was used during Hurricane Katrina to house people who were homeless after the hurricane tore through New Orleans and the surrounding communities.

“We are grateful to the providers, volunteers and local officials that stepped up on Martha’s Vineyard over the past few days to provide immediate services to these individuals,” Gov. Charlie Baker said in the release. “Our Administration has been working across state government to develop a plan to ensure these individuals will have access to the services they need going forward, and Joint Base Cape Cod is well equipped to serve these needs.”

MEMA is collaborating with state agencies and nonprofit organizations to ensure that individuals and families have access to a broad range of services, including legal, health care, food and other needs, the release states.

At the Steamship Authority terminal in Vineyard Haven, Tisbury and State Police monitored the transfer of migrants from VTA buses to a Yankee Charter bus. MEMA officials State Rep. Dylan Fernandes D-Falmouth, and Martina Thornton were also at the terminal, as was a composite legal team for the migrants. The charter bus rolled onto the Steamship Authority ferry Governor just before 11 am. That vessel departed for Woods Hole just after 11 am. 

Some of the migrants got off the bus once the ferry departed, looking at the waves, chatting amongst themselves and answering reporters’ questions. A few smoked cigarettes, which they were asked to extinguish. On the ferry, immigration attorney Rachel Self said what happened to the migrants qualified as a civil rights violation and a due process violation. She also said some Martha’s Vineyard families opened their doors to migrants, but there is a need for them to be at the base for necessary immigration processes. 

The Governor arrived in Woods Hole around 11:45 with MEMA officials, State Police and Falmouth police ready to meet the migrants. Some of the passengers who were aboard the Governor waited on the side to see the migrants’ bus off. The yellow bus was escorted to JBCC  by two State Police motorcycle  officers and MEMA officials to the cheers of the passengers. Through the darkened bus window, the migrants could be seen waving to those present at Woods Hole terminal. 

Fernandes made comments about the migrants’ situation and took questions from reporters at Woods Hole after the bus left. He said a “long-term solution” is being considered and “there are wraparound services” at the base with immigration attorneys ready to help. Fernandes underscored how St. Andrew’s Church was “always temporary.”

“People were offered to leave, it was entirely voluntary,” Fernandes said. “There are vendors for food, water, shelter. There’re separate spaces for people with families. There are mental healthcare wraparound services — mental health, crisis management, regular healthcare, alongside longer-term contractors for case management to make sure that these kids can get some educational opportunities where available and we’re looking for longer term housing solutions as well.”

Fernandes continued by saying, “This is what good government actually looks like and this is what compassionate government actually looks like and I couldn’t be prouder of the people of Martha’s Vineyard and Cape Cod for their incredible work here, and I couldn’t be prouder to be from the state of Massachusetts.”

There were some pieces of information Fernandes did not have answers for, such as whether the migrants will remain in Massachusetts, if the migrants really had appointments with U.S. Immigration and Custom Enforcement (ICE) on Monday, or exactly where the migrants will be on the base. 

“It’s been a long 36 hours, wherever we’re at, at this point,” Fernandes said. “When [the migrants] got off the planes, they were really confused, they were lied to about where they were going, what was gonna greet them when they were here, and we weren’t alerted to it. No one was there to greet them. But, what made me proud and I think what really comforted the people there was that we’re a community that sprang together to give them the resources that they needed. As soon as we knew they were here, we had an outpouring of support from everywhere to help out.”

An example Fernandes listed was that Spanish-speaking students from the local public schools came and made bracelets with the migrant children. He expressed confidence that the migrants will receive the support they need. 

The individuals and families will be housed in dormitory-style spaces at JBCC, with separate spaces accommodating both individuals and families. Families will not be separated.

According to the release, the base is unable to accept public donations. “MEMA is establishing a process to accept relief donations, and additional information is forthcoming.”

The most recent influx of migrants from Venezuela stems from the nation’s current humanitarian crisis, which can be traced back through the country’s complicated political and socio-economic history. With political tensions continuously rising, and a Venezuelan currency in freefall, millions of people are leaving their country, in search of a safer, more stable place to live. 

According to the International Rescue Committee (IRC), one of the world’s leading organizations devoted to helping those impacted by humanitarian crises, with increasing violence due to scarce resources, and lack of access to essential health care, those leaving Venezuela are  migrating for their survival. 

According to the United Nations Refugee Agency, over six million people have fled Venezuela since the death of President Hugo Chavez in 2013, and subsequent election of his successor Nicolás Maduro. Upon his 2018 re-election – after which his presidency was disputed – Maduro was widely criticized by many Venezuelans – and countries around the world – for his strict socialist policies and its adverse effect on the country’s economy. 

Political volatility greatly increased following Maduro’s re-election, triggering opposition leader Juan Guaidó to declare himself the president of Venezuela, and in turn, splitting the country’s people–and the world’s nations – into two camps.

As reported by BBC, the fight for power between Maduro and Guaidó, and loyal supporters on both sides, has created a rift all the way to the world’s stage. More than 50 countries, including the United States recognize Guaidó as the president of Venezuela, whereas countries like Russia, China, and Turkey acknowledge Maduro’s claim. 

The presidential dispute remains unresolved, as do the impacts to Venezuela’s economy and   ongoing humanitarian crisis.

Reporters Eunki Seonwoo, Abigail Rosen, and Rich Saltzberg contributed to this story.

104 COMMENTS

    • To be fair, they were dropped here without any notice. When sanctuary cities declared themselves as such, did DeSantis or Abbott try to work out a deal with the sanctuary states? No. Additionally, I’d like to see anyone who can point out exactly where and when Martha’s Vineyard, specifically, ever called itself a “sanctuary city.” DeSantis is an ignorant idiot who is just making stuff up in his head. This island responded graciously and compassionately to an unexpected arrival of destitute people. Realizing that we didn’t have the resources to help them, we sent them to someone who did. Sorry if this was not the response you were looking for. What was the right response supposed to be?

      • Why do you assume Florida or Texas or Arizona have the resources to deal with the illegals when they show up there?
        Blatant hypocrisy

        • Matt, When did I ever say that I expected border states to shoulder the burden all by themselves? I’m not the one doing the assuming here.

          • Most people don’t know that they get federal assistance. It’s easier to just blab and repeat what they hear on faux news from tc.
            This is why education and understanding our laws and government is important but they are just repeaters.
            PS.. wait until they begin to take away womens rights because if you think abortion is it well it’s not.

      • Six years ago each of our towns declared their town as “sanctuary’. Each town’s Board of Select persons in perfect unison and unanimously voted to be sanctuary towns, thereby making the entire island as such. Perhaps you weren’t living here at that time or just maybe missed the small print in the newspapers.
        Despite the ever present island liberal loud hue and cry of being immigrant tolerant, welcoming etc the fifty Venezuelans were kicked to the curb and “deported’ in world record time………………less than 24 hours. !!
        Admittedly, they were treated well during their overnight visit here but that may have been knowing that clandestine plans were being finalized to rapidly
        deploy the group off island to Woods Hole. Whew ! Mission complete !
        You are pointing your fickle finger at the wrong targets. Desantis and Abbott. are the actual victims here as their states being the unfortunate victims of the Biden/HARRIS border policy, ummm lack of policy. Four million illegals have entered our country unchecked and unvetted and subsequently been airlifted or bussed to U S destinations unknown many in the “dark of morning”. Not too much fanfare either. Here we are/were talking about fifty young adults and all the Neo libs are apoplectic with heads exploding.They talk a good game but when the nut cuttin’ comes they hide and cower to their dark side. Hippocrites & Cowards. !
        You, my friend, need to open your eyes then your brain. Me ? I am waiting for the next wave of planes to land at our airport. !

        • Deported? To Cape Cod? Where there are facilities that can make it safer and more comfortable for these people so they didn’t have to share TWO bathrooms for 50 people while they’re being processed?
          Please link where 6 island towns declared themselves “sanctuary towns”. Amherst, Boston, Chelsea, Concord, Newton, Cambridge, Northampton, and Somerville are the only declared sanctuary cities in the state which have declared themselves as such, legally limiting cooperation with federal immigration laws. As of yesterday, no MV town, or the entire island, is listed. So, link please.

          I’m not saying all Republicans lie. But they exaggerate, are too poorly informed to know what they’re talking about, and, you know, they lie. Take desantis, for example. Yesterday he claimed that every migrant signed an affidavit stating they willingly got on the plane going to Martha’s Vineyard. Wonder what language that supposed piece of paper was in? Chinese?

        • That’s a nice narrative you’ve got there. It’d be a shame if facts debunked it, like, oh, say, that these migrants were sent here instead of Boston because either DeSantis is an idiot who thinks he knows what MV is and doesn’t, or he knew we did not have the resources to permanently accommodate the migrants and so shipped them here, knowing that they would be sent to another area within the state so that he could then create the narrative that MV residents are heartless hypocrites.

        • This problem goes back a lot further than Biden. Like, back to colonization and the problems we caused for those countries. We made life as difficult as possible for them- and it worked! Now the white supremacist narrative is that they are breaking our laws. What a setup!

      • A mere 50 people and the community failed them ! MVY is a sanctuary town
        in words only, not in deeds.
        You say there was no notice, well when they came across the Texas boarder there was none either.

        • Failed them how, Michael? They were given what they needed in terms of food, shelter, and clothing. At least $43,000 was raised, last I checked. They have an attorney now, which is necessary because of the deceit involved.

          I imagine what you’re really saying is that you wanted MV to fail because there would’ve been a strange and twisted joy in that. You’re not alone. Some here admitted to grinning from ear to ear. Does that sound normal to you?

          I think it’s obvious to anyone paying attention that laws were broken by DeSantis & co. Whether specific charges will stick is another matter. The law is complicated. Using people to up one’s popularity for a presidential run is not. It’s ugly and clumsy.

          We all have our beliefs. Mine is that DeSantis couldn’t care less about border security. He cares about himself. He misused funds to pull off this frat boyish stunt and abused the power of his office. That’s what failure actually looks like.

      • 70 midnight flights of illegal immigrants from Texas to Florida in the last 18 months and people are crying foul play for Florida sending 2 planes to Massachusetts.
        The hypocrisy is beyond what’s moral and right, meanwhile there are over 5000 illegal Brazilian immigrants living on Martha’s Vineyard and all of us are playing stupid about it,
        which bty has changed the very fabric of the Vineyard and it is never going back being a community of hard working New Englanders, many with roots going back to the late 1600’s.
        Let’s show the world we can house a few hundred migrants and invite them to live here. I’m so ashamed of the finger pointing and the not in my back yard mentality of my community. These 2 million migrants can work, go-to Church and be part of the Vineyard just like the migrants that have been sneaking onto the Vineyard over the last 25 years.

    • Yeah typical “liberal” response is to transport the refugees to another place. And we don’t even see the irony in that remark.

  1. Embarrassing. People were calling DeSantis a human trafficker when he flew them out to MV — MV turned around, called a mere 50 migrants a humanitarian crisis, and sent them packing. Is that human trafficking too? We could have done better. We need the workers, we have the housing (well — the rich NAMBY’s do).

    • What’s embarrassing are all the non-Massachusetts trolls who think that putting refugees on an isolated island with limited services is helpful. And then thinking moving them about an hour away in the same basic community is problematic? Weird.

      • They know it isn’t helpful. They’re doing this to create the narrative that we’re hypocrites for sending them elsewhere, without ever bothering to research WHY.

        • MM, tell us why they were sent off when you have half the houses empty most of the time. Enlighten us. There is a greater vacancy percentage here than almost every other place in the country. The Edgartown budget surplus could put them up in a fancy hotel for one year. Please explain to us MM. Yes the narrative is brilliant politics.

          • Andy– You are correct– we could have just kicked down the door of your summer home in Chilmark.
            But you know, we are liberals here. We respect peoples private property and their dignity. As well as the law. No matter how many times you claim the liberals are socialist, it’s not true. Lucky you, your chilmark house can sit empty all winter and you don’t have to feel guilty.
            Thanks for volunteering to put them up in your house though.
            Or better yet, you could take some in your winter house in Florida, and save them the plane ride.

          • andy–you mention low taxes and budget surpluses in a liberal town on a liberal island.
            Sort of throws a lot of cold water on your rants about liberal fiscal policies, don’t cha think ?
            Did you offer your unoccupied Chilmark house to them ?
            Oh, I know— it’s not yours, it’s a trust.
            But to answer your question to MM- read the comments.

          • I imagine Florida condos sit empty, too, when owners come to the Vineyard to visit—after they’ve sold their island house that they used to rent out for as much as possible, while they lived in the guest house on their property. Wealthy (and not that wealthy) capitalists do this all the time because this is America. Private property is still a thing here. Maybe everyone who’s blathering about empty houses should move to Cuba where they’d have no complaints. If not, don’t go away for Xmas vacation without opening your home because there are homeless people who should be able to keep warm for 10 days in your empty house.

            Do people understand how stupid they sound with this tired argument?

          • The government could have taken those empty houses and hotels by a process called eminent domain. Simpler and cost effective to use existing processes and facilities. Or would you prefer the legal costs after seizing private homes?

        • Because you can’t just take peoples’ property, Engleman. You can ask the owners to help. It’s up to them to say yes or no. And what happens when Edgartown runs out of surplus? MV does not have the resources to indefinitely take care of anyone’s needs, citizen or not.

    • We don’t even have enough housing for the workers we have. The cost of living makes it hard for the locals who do all the work to make ends meet. Still alot of islanders offered housing to the immigrants. I did!

      • I offered to pay for a week’s stay at one of several AirBnB’s that were available that week on the Island, but was told this wasn’t needed because they weren’t going to stay here. I don’t know who made the call so early on. Either Island Inn or Oak Bluffs Inn, I’m sorry I’ve forgotten already, put up the GOVERNMENT WORKERS who came to haul them off. There were plenty of spaces for the media who came to cover it — but all 50 of them were crammed into a church. This is despicable.

        You know — it’s not too late. We can still fulfill our commitment to being a sanctuary. They’re right over the water on the Cape, they’re just being processed is all. As I understand it, some will go back to FL because they have family, but others would have liked to have stayed. I’ve been trying to get someone at the base on the line to make the same offer as I made last week. Why don’t you match me?

    • Please tell me where there is housing available. I have friends who are in need.

      Also, given that the migrants arrived unexpectedly, I don’t think it’s really fair to say we could’ve done better.

  2. Thank you Cape Cod for stepping up and providing a longer term solution!

    Martha’s Vineyard, our work isn’t over yet. Let’s continue to support these friends and expend some political capital to create long-term changes and solutions to our nation’s immigration laws. We can go this, let’s go!

  3. Yup, just as I suspected, ship them off. Now let’s pay each other on the back and congratulate one another about what a great job we did.

    • You know Carl, no one spit on them, no one heckled them, no one tried to punch or push them.
      I know it’s a low bar to be mentioning all that, but really ,look at the treatment they get in other places.
      They got immediate help and support.
      Because of the unannounced nature of the stunt, they wound up sleeping in a small church.
      You think that’s a better place than the base they are going to ?
      As you have pointed out, they can’t legally work. How long would you have them live in a church ?
      They are staying together as a group and likely forming a community of their own at the moment. They have much to do , like learn English and file legal paperwork to get those work permits they want so badly. All more easily facilitated at the base. Not to mention basic stuff like showers and hot meals.
      I by the way, did offer my guest room to a family.

      • Don… I respect you as a Vet and for your generosity. And I’m sorry that I put you in the position to have to tell everyone about your offer to help in response to my comment. I know you would probably like to keep that to yourself. You sir, walk the walk as I know some others do. I would not expect anyone to be treated harshly and without dignity. My frustration is that there is no long term plan with immigration and our leaders actions are saying that the border is open and everyone is welcome. It’s not sustainable and I just think providing false hope to people in dire straits is cruel. Yes, while on MV they were treated humanly and shipped off again. I don’t think MV elected representatives should tell the world that MV should be a place for these people to settle when they know it’s not possible. Virtue signaling or cruelty but it ain’t right. It a problem that we need to figure out and fast, to your point.

          • Hess, was it better 4 years ago? The honest answer is yes. And like I have said many many times it’s now Bidens job to fix it. If he can’t vote him out. And if the new guy can’t fix it vote that person out. Enough with the Trump and Obama excuses. GET THE JOB DONE! You know what they say about excuses…. They all stink.

        • Carl– There has not been a long term plan about dealing with immigration for decades. Some idiot tried to build an impenetrable wall. Click on some of the related links on this story– The wall is useless– If Obama had built that wall, Fox would be screaming about how incompetent he was and how lousy and ineffective the wall is.
          But let’s not criticize trump— If only the dems had let trump spend 100 billion of mexican money, and build more than 485 miles of it,no one would ever be able to climb it or cut through it.
          https://www.foxnews.com/us/video-captures-migrants-camo-scaling-arizona-wall-harris-says-border-secure

          So we tried that and it seems to not be working well. And we owe Mexico because they paid $5 billion for it. ( I think ?)
          But let me ask you a real question, Carl.
          If the border is as open as you and other conservatives say, why are people risking their lives by crowding into semi trucks, scaling “very tall” walls, or walking through desserts to get into this country ? We have lots of nice bridges that anyone can walk across and be greeted by U.S immigration officials. Why not just do that ? Immigration will just let them in, after all.. Isn’t that Biden’s policy ?
          It’s a real question.
          Of course if you are carrying a few kilo’s of drugs, you might do that– but there were no drugs found in that truck where 46 people died.
          Very few skeletons found in the dessert have backpacks full of drugs– Indeed many of them are mothers with their children .
          And as you have pointed out, only a tiny percentage of drugs smuggled into this country actually come in on the backs of smugglers.
          Think about it– and please read my latest reply to andy.

          • Don, I think I have to agree with you that the border in not open as a “policy”. The non enforcement and compliance by this administration negates that policy. When you stand up on national TV and tell people to come on in you are thumbing your nose at that policy. When you have cities and states not enforcing immigration laws and in fact hindering enforcement of those laws, what message is that sending? Providing benefits free of charge, what message is that sending? Amnesty to people that are here or who can make it here, what message is that sending. VP Harris just said that any deal to fix immigration must include people that are currently here no matter the status. That screams open border. It’s semantics. As for the other guy who wants to build a wall, it’s one of many tools to deter, prevent and impede illegal crossings that give LE more time to effect arrests. I don’t think you would advocate for removing barriers, do you? I am not the least bit concerned about the amount of drugs being carried into this country on the backs of people. My experience in LE has demonstrated that he ports of entry is where the vast majority of the drugs come through. We search very little of the vehicles entering this country. Resources are being diverted from those searches to deal with the mass influx of people at our border thus increasing the amount of drugs coming in. But again when it comes to drugs let Darwin takeover. Thanks for responding Don! You always get me thinking.

    • Carl, Joint Base Cape Cod is like an hour away. It’s here in Massachusetts, just like Martha’s Vineyard, and not “someplace else.” They’re being moved from an isolated small island where they needed to import lawyers and supplies, to where there are actual accommodations and services. I know it’s not the narrative you were hoping for but, here we are.

    • You do realize that the Florida government unloaded these people here right? Aren’t they the ones responsible for “shipping these people off”?

  4. It appears that Martha’s Vineyard, while welcoming the refugees, couldn’t wait to “throw them off the island”!
    Actions do speak louder than words.
    Enjoy the rest of the summer.

  5. So it’s ok for the Federal Government to fly 78 planes of illegals under the cover of darkness and drop them off in Jacksonville? God forbid DeSantis sends 50 to Obama’s/Clinton’s/Kennedy’s back yard and it is inhumane? What is inhumane is that the Biden Administration stopped the wall from being finished , and allowed 2,000,000 plus of illegals into our country including rapists, murderers, druggists, and human traffickers into the border states. And who is is charge of immigration? A Vice President who is so detached from reality that she avoids the confrontation and instead visits the Latin American countries where the root of the problem has occurred. How’s that going Mrs Vice President. And oh, the Vineyard loves the arrival of illegal immigrants because then they can have their yards pristinely manicured, their tables waited on, their homes painted, their groceries packed. Instead of Brazilians doing all the hard labor now, they can underpay some Venezuelans and Argentinians who by the way, won’t pay taxes, will use MV Hospital emergency services on the taxpayer dollar, and ship most of their earned income home. Fix the immigration problem Biden, or start collecting social security. Not in my back yard as the Vineyarders say as they ship the illegal immigrants off to Cape Cod. The hypocrisy on the left is laughable.

    • Keller doesnt believe Biden flew planes of immigrants at night all over the country and if he finally does he will invent some technical reason why the DeSantis flights are different than the Sleepy Joe flights.

      • andy– thanks once again for telling us all what I believe. Someone recently lectured me about doing that when I mentioned things you actually do support.
        But I wonder why republicans are upset about the feds flying plane lods of migrants all around the country. Thet are at federal expense taking some of the burden off the border states and transporting them to other states, some of them blue I am sure.
        Since you are so concerned about the burden of the border states, why aren’t conservatives applauding the federal gov, for doing what you all think is great that the governor of Florida is doing ?
        I am once again confused. The gov. of florida, who has no constitutional authority to regulate immigration, uses Floridian taxpayer dollars to fly legal immigrants from Texass to a small island — unannounced– that is ill equipped to house 50 people who have nothing but a carry on bag, and that is wonderful. But the federal government flies thousands of people out of these very same border states, and it’s some kind of scandal ?
        When was the last time you got off a plane, had no idea where you were, had no money, no one was expecting you, and you had absolutely no plan ?
        As far as I can tell, the fed gov. has notified local authorities about every single person on every single plane, that has landed.
        As far as “under cover of darkness” goes, that’s complete BS. It’s true more of these flights occur late at night or early in the morning. Have you noticed flights are cheaper at 3 am than they are at 3 pm?
        Or, perhaps, unlike the tides, there is less wind at night, and therefore it is easier to land. Everyone knows, it’s hard to land a plane in high winds. They are just trying to be safe.
        As for the actual truth–you should look at least a little before you start typing and say something foolish.
        https://www.politifact.com/factchecks/2022/mar/16/tyler-kistner/claims-biden-secretly-flying-immigrants-us-cities-/
        Technical enough for you, andy ?

        By the way, about that “under cover of darkness” thing.
        Fbi agents arrived at Mara Lago to search for stolen documents at 9 am– the sun was up– they left at approximately 6:30 pm— the sun was up.
        But, every single story on right wing media, especially Fox “news” had footage of police at Mara Leggo at night. EVERY time..
        Every single time—Think there’s anything subliminal about that ?

    • Oh come on! Jacksonville at least got notice, we didn’t. MV is not the Obamas/Clintons backyard, they VACATION here. Is Camp David the Bush’s backyard? Is that where the Bush’s live? Additionally, they weren’t shipped off because of NIMBYs, they were shipped off due to a lack of resources here. Learn the difference.

      • Mathias– Somehow it’s a bad thing that the feds are sending migrants all over the country, including Florida ( which is not a border state).
        I guess Florida thinks it should be spared the burden of immigration, while the rest of the country gets hundreds of plane loads of migrants sent to their states. Why the outrage about a city of nearly a million people getting one ?
        Maybe just because it’s Florida? Who gave them a free pass ?
        I think before the conservatives talk about hypocrisy, they should answer that question.

        • Don, I think the difference is that DeSantis is not inviting people into this country to be supported by his state. His argument, I think, is that sanctuary non border states are encouraging people to cross the border and having to take financial responsibility for them. Clearly now that this has affected those states they are calling for additional help just like to border states. Was it effective to do this, absolutely. Was it morally the right thing to do, I would like to think I wouldn’t do it. But both parties for years have been using people as pawns. And look how effective it is, for both sides.

          • carl, at this point in the conversation, I am stunned that you apparently have no idea what a sanctuary city is.

        • Don,
          At this point in conversation I’m stunned that you don’t know the difference between human trafficking and transporting illegal immigrants over state lines. See below.
          Title 8, U.S.C. § 1324(a) defines several distinct offenses related to aliens. Subsection 1324(a)(1)(i)-(v) prohibits alien smuggling, domestic transportation of unauthorized aliens, concealing or harboring unauthorized aliens, encouraging or inducing unauthorized aliens to enter the United States, and engaging in a conspiracy or aiding and abetting any of the preceding acts. Subsection 1324(a)(2) prohibits bringing or attempting to bring unauthorized aliens to the United States in any manner whatsoever, even at a designated port of entry. Subsection 1324(a)(3).

          Under federal law, the crime of human trafficking is described under 18 U.S.C. 1581 – 1597, while the crime of sex trafficking is defined in 22 U.S.C. 7102.

          Respectfully

          • it seems the rules have changed and I can’t mention the name of the person who wrote the comment I am commenting on . But persons reading this forum might be able to figure out which comment I am replying to by carefully noting the little jogs left or right under the last comment, or perhaps the last 10 or 15 comments.
            The list of the statutes that the comment I am replying to refer to aiding and abetting people illegally entering the United States.
            I don’t think that is the issue here.
            I have certainly not accursed anyone of doing that, although some here have accused, or at least implied that a certain group of people or elected officials has in some way lured , coerced or enticed people to cross the internationally recognized border between the United States Of America and Mexico.
            However, the comment I am commenting on also referred to statutes and laws about certain peoples after they have actually crossed the border.
            That’s a horse of a different color.
            Knowingly transporting the aforementioned individuals over what is commonly referred to as a “state line” with the knowledge that they are in fact illegally inside the legally recognised boundaries of the United States Of America , is a serious crime.
            However, if the person or persons who are facilitating the crossing of so called “state lines” by persons who have passed through the legally recognised system established by the congress of the United States Of America, that is not applicable to the statutes of the comment I am commenting on then they are legally in the United States of America. I will henceforth refer to them as “legals” .
            It is clear form the statutes that the comment I am referring to implied that if indeed the 50 or so people to whom the comment that I am commenting on were in fact illegally with the internationally recognised borders of the United States Of America, there is little room in the Department of Justice to not charge those who conspired to transport these illegal persons across so called state lines.
            The penalties for such a crime vary greatly depending on whether the 50 people in question who are within the borders of the United States of America are “legal” or “illegal”.
            Yeah, it’s semantics. The use of the word “illegal” is a calculated and deliberate intent to degrade the people from Venezuela. I’ll be fine with calling them “illegals” as long as they prosecute those who violate Subsection 1324(a)(1)(i)-(v) to the fullest extent of the law.

  6. I shouldn’t be surprised by the stupidity of the right wingers here. They are being treated humanely and send where they can be accommodated simple as that. MV doesn’t have the facilities, you all act like the state can appropriate Obama’s place and move them in there, it doesn’t work like that although if you want to advocate socialism and take the wealthy’s money and property I am all for it.

    • Uncluttered by commercial flights or passenger terminal, likely medical facilities, transportation vehicles at the ready. Steven, I’d rather you have Venezuelans as neighbors, too.

      Apologies to George for my under-whelming support of those wishing arrivals to America to be unwelcome.

  7. This latest from De Santis was an act of spite . Toxic and transparent. I hope these poor souls being used as pawns get the help they need to find their way in life.

  8. Wow, some serious hard cases in here! Unless you’re a native you and I are all immigrants. I would do whatever was required if I couldn’t feed my family, let alone if they were in constant danger. These folks got shipped over to the air base – a part of the federal government, the same government that handles immigration. It’s not the locals decision for what to do with immigrants. And how we can pass judgements on our leaders for not fixing a multi-decade problem. I know I couldn’t do it and i doubt anyone reading this can. The immigrants, our leaders, all of us are just people trying to make it. Thanks to all who helped with this – we are all humans (except of course Ron DeSantis, he’s a monster). Little levity!

  9. C’mon. MV is no place for these folks. They were told that they were going to Boston, not an island. They want work, and the season’s almost over. Add the high cost of living and you’ve got a total snafu.

  10. Story idea for Mr. Brennan: In the aftermath of the recent story about Venezuelan migrants, every social media outlet related to Martha’s Vineyard, not to mention both Island newspapers, are being bombarded with posts and comments by right-wing trolls across the country — many of whom have absolutely no connection to the Vineyard. It’s an unprecedented assault on the spaces where we have community conversations. How are editors and page administrators dealing with this? To what extent are these outside voices relevant, productive or welcome? This is a moment that may redefine the role and credibility of local media in the eyes of the Island community.

    • Dan, as seems typical of the other newspaper on controversial issues, I am not seeing a single published comment from the public on this national news story. Censorship, not wanting to get their hands dirty, and ignoring the public is how the Gazette copes, as far as I can tell. Their reporting is focused on getting help for these folks, ignoring the right wingers. They pretend they aren’t (t)here. The Times deserves the gratitude many of us feel for their ongoing commitment to journalistic standards and the exposing of who we are by letting us speak. It can’t possibly be any fun wading through and moderating while giving voice to all. Trolls, whether off-island or on, are a problem when given the privilege of these forums. It’s a great idea to hear from the people at the Times dealing so admirably on all of this.

    • Are you suggesting that MVT should not accept comments from people who do not live here?
      What about seasonal residents?
      Weekers?
      Weekenders?
      Day trippers?

      • At its root, from the moment Fox News was given advance warning to cover the planes landing, this entire story has been about immigrants being manipulated to mold national opinion through the media. I simply suggested that the Times cover the deluge of orchestrated outrage coming from abroad, and how our local information gatekeepers are coping with it.

        The intense bickering in local forums — which even Ted Cruz has tweeted proudly about in the past 24 hours — is an important part of the story that should be neither censored nor ignored. In fact, it may ultimately be a good thing if mainland trolls turn this conversation into an orgy of taunting and Vineyard-smearing… it might encourage more of them to vacation elsewhere.

  11. “A mere 50 migrants”. Mere?? These are people. Seven of them are children. Save one life, save the world. Change one life, change the world. Now conservatives are belittling those who want to help? One person complained the island “deported” them. Yes, to Cape Cod where they’re more equipped to help more. Disgusting comments coming from conservatives.

  12. I’m writing from England. Let me assure the rich, phoney liberals of Martha’s Vineyard that the whole conservative world is having a good, hard laugh at your expense. That Florida Governor should be America’s next President, when Sleepy Joe nods off.

    • You clearly know nothing about Martha’s Vineyard but I’m happy to educate you a bit.
      The migrants dumped by DeSantis on Martha’s Vineyard ended up in Edgartown, a largely Republican bastion that went heavily for Trump in both 2016 & 2020. The Island is not just an enclave of rich liberals and is actually quite diverse given its small size.
      The right-wing media has only one purpose, which is to further their lib-bashing agenda. People of all sorts and persuasions rolled up their sleeves and immediately provided compassionate aid and assistance to those that were stranded with disdain by Gov. DeSantis without any warning.

        • “went heavily for Trump…”
          I didn’t say won. Just trying to point out to people that lap up anything and everything the ring-wing media puts out that MV is more than just the cartoon image they put forth to bolster their tired agenda.

      • Robett why do you lie about the results of the 2016 and 2020 election results in Edgartown ?
        In 2016 Clinton got 65.7% of the vote, trump 28.7
        In 2020 Biden got 70.7% trump got 27.6.
        This is simple stuff to look up.
        But, if you’re a republican and have an agenda, it’s just fine to lie all you want. People will believe it, no matter what.That is the new republican way.
        And that’s a problem.

        • Hi Don! I realize you are very busy writing comments to the Times but how about a bit of reading comprehension on your part for a change. You and I both know that the right-wing media portrayal of MV is just to satisfy their lib-bashing agenda. My goal was to point out that there happens to be a more nuanced portrayal of the Island that has been selectively left out. Edgartown is hardly what you would call a liberal elite enclave. The fact that many of the homeowners vote elsewhere doesn’t matter. My point is diversity. Sorry if you missed it.

    • Yes, many DeSantis fanboys are in giddy hysterics over this. Problem is, they’re laughing at a fantasy outcome.

      The assumption was that MV would not or could not handle this arrival. That famous names who own homes here were somehow going to be punished and upset by it. That locals would freak out and demand that this group of people leave.

      None of that happened. Those big names were completely unaffected and probably aren’t even around. Island officials pulled things together on short notice and provided services. All of the locals I’m hearing from are bothered by the exploitative nature of the stunt itself, not that fifty additional people showed up.

      I didn’t think there was anything more pathetic than laughing at a complex situation or hoping for others to fail in dealing with it. I was wrong. There’s being thrilled by an outcome that did not even come to pass. Your amusement is not flex you think it is.

      • Spot on, Katie. Faux “News” apparently thinks MV has no diversity. They said this all while their reporters and camera-men stood in front of stores owned by Asians and Brazilians. Could they be any more deceitful?

  13. An island-community with a largely seasonal economy and an affordable-housing crisis comes together to dress, feed and provide shelter to 50 unfortunate political pawns including women and children, who are then brought to a larger community off-island better – equipped to provide longer – term care for these human beings. And you, a member of a hateful, brain-washed MAGA cult manage to find fault and to snipe and criticize from the comfort of your own home. The hatred from the right is despicable.

  14. It seems quite obvious to me that this situation has been a long time coming. What did the sanctuary states expect? Of course Republican governors are going to send refugees that come crossing their borders to sanctuary states. First of all, it makes sense. If Democrat states want refugees then prepare for them and take them on. That, of course, will never happen because it’s all talk. Secondly, during a time in history when each party seems only interested in engaging in adolescent pissing contests, this is a brilliant political move on the part of Republicans!

    • Shelly Wilbur, DeSantis bused them in and then flew them, unannounced, to MV-not to mention the fact that these people were lied to in Texas, they didn’t go to Boston and they didn’t have jobs and housing for them as they were promised. It’s people like you that keep this country divided. If the R’s would work with the Dems, instead of torpedoing every bit of legislation they try to pass, we might be able to make this country a real democracy and not the clown show that DT created on the R’s side.

    • Massachusetts, with its Republican governor, is not a sanctuary state, Shelly. Why do MAGA Republicans need to lie to promote their hatreds, ignorance, and intolerance? That’s a rhetorical question. Our governor is viewing this from the humanitarian perspective, not the twisted political stunt point of view.

    • Martha’s Vineyard is not a sanctuary state. It’s an island consisting of a population of 20K, and it has a small economy. Most of the tourist businesses are owned by people who don’t live here, and the same applies to the AirBnBs popping up all over the place. Massachusetts is a sanctuary state. None of these right-wingers care about facts, just their hateful opinions. DeSantis sent the migrants here because he knew we didn’t have the resources to care for them. Whe the migrants were shipped off, THEY ARE STILL IN MASSACHUSETTS. And that’s what actually matters here.

      • https://www.nbcboston.com/news/local/is-massachusetts-a-sanctuary-state/2835474/
        “What is Massachusetts’ sanctuary status?
        In 2017, Massachusetts’ top state court ruled that Massachusetts court officers do not have the authority to arrest someone suspected of being in the U.S. illegally if that person is not facing criminal charges, the state’s highest court ruled Monday. That’s effectively gave the state sanctuary status…But for years, advocates have tried to get a bill that would codify sanctuary status in Massachusetts, and it hasn’t passed, despite Democrats, who tend to support sanctuary status more than Republicans, controlling the Legislature.”

        But you’re right, Massachusetts is effectively a sanctuary state. I agree with your comment.

  15. If the ignorant posts on this topic were not this ignorant, we would not have to correct each and every one with the reality of facts. Best not to engage with stupidity because it cannot be fixed. I appreciate the patience shown by those trying to educate those making really dumb statements, but it’s a Sisyphean task. Idiocy is now a virtue for conservative Republicans who cannot think things through. It’s how we got Trump. Honestly, some people treat this page like eager kindergartners willing to learn, but only after spouting off the most ridiculous and racist garbage. If the patience of saints actually helped, fine. But if you’re paying attention, you’ll see these people are hard wired for hate, intolerance, and a self absorbed stupidity.

    I’d tell you all how I really feel, but this comment probably will never see the light of day anyway, so I’ll spare George.

  16. The 50 migrants did not stay on the Island very long. I guess the saying, “not in my backyard” is true. A lot of you complain about the flights to the Vineyard not being announced. None of Biden/Harris flights, that carry migrants to other parts of the country in the middle of the night, are NOT announced either. I wonder why that is? Seems like some folks that have posted have a double standard. The Vineyard got 50 immigrants, Texas/Arizona get thousands and thousands daily coming to their small communities, since January 2021, because of Biden’s failed border policy. We are not a country if we do not have borders and enforce them. I see many homes on the Island with fences around their properties and most of my friends lock their doors. It does not make sense these same folks want our Souther Border open like Biden/Harris have it now?? I am sure most of the migrants are very good people but they are being played in a political game because of Biden. What about the people all over the world that have applied LEGALLY to come into this country, are they being put on the back burner while Biden/Harris let everyone else come in our Southern Border illegally?? The folks coming in the Southern Border have not even been vetted. Look at how many MS 13 members CBP happens to catch trying to sneak in to our country. The Biden/Harris administration needs to stop lying to people of this country saying our borders are closed and secure. They are not! Just ask the people who live in Eagle Pass, TX. Congress, Democrats and Republicans, needs to finally work, get an immigration policy passed and Biden needs to secure our border. What we have now is broken and not working. BTW-I lived on the Island most of my adult life, love the Island, and most of the people on it. I still visit friends and was out there this past week. It is a magical place. I mention this because one poster was questioning people’s right to comment if they did not live there, one commented conservatives should not speak, I voted for Obama. I am mostly Independent and I am going to speak. America wake up.

    • Steve, if you’ve lived here most of your adult life, you should realize that we do not have a dedicated shelter that can comfortably accommodate fifty people in the long run. That our economy is seasonal and that September ushers in a negative change in job availability. That we are in the middle of a dire housing crisis. There are locals who cannot find a place to stay even after reaching out to friends and family. Many have had to move away. This group was taken off-Island for practical reasons. Not out of spite.

    • Maybe I posted this elsewhere. Biden’s official border policies are the same as Trump’s. The difference is Biden is more strict in enforcing them.

  17. 2,000,000 plus of illegals into our country including rapists, murderers, druggists, and human traffickers into the border states.
    Where did this information come from? Faux mews?
    Wake up… sheeple of rump as we have these people here already and they were born here.
    You damn fools. You are exactly what they want on their side.

  18. I see a gratuitous bit of right wing muscle flexing in quite a number of these posts. How about just being glad that the migrants deposited on the island, not the destination they had imagined, were treated warmly and humanely by a number of our islanders while they were here.

    • Frankly, I’ve gotten harassing calls at work, despite my job having nothing to do with the immigration issues. These yahoos have nothing better to do than commit the crime of harassment against people they’ve never met, all of which is the product of their wild imaginations and lack of an education. I’d like to ship the white supremacists back to South America and keep the immigrants.

  19. Katie,
    I understand the Vineyard is a summer resort as I use to be a police officer for 11 years, tour bus driver for over 25 years, bartender for 15 years, and owner of a small store/business for a few years. I also understand the Vineyard may not have facilities to house the 50 migrants. I understand everybody came together as a group to feed, house, and donate clothes to them, which I observed in person. The people of MV did an outstanding job for the immigrants and always have in past situations of Islanders in need!!! I am confused however. You have a county commissioner who once wanted Martha’s Vineyard to become a haven for immigrants, a Massachusetts Senator who said send us more migrants to Massachusetts, and a MV poster that states “all are welcome here.” I realize the housing shortage on MV but I think Eagle Pass, TX, population of approximately 30,000 people, where 2,000 apprehensions are coming through every day since January 2021, have a housing shortage also. Again, I feel Congress, Republicans and Democrats, need to pass a working immigration package and Biden needs to stop his open border policy in place now, which is not working. I sure feel sorry for the people trying to enter the United States legally, which my Grandparents did in the early 1900s. Sincerely.

    • We already are a haven for immigrants and have been for decades. I grew up here. We have people here from South America, Asia, Eastern Europe and other places. Are they all here legally? I’m not qualified to answer that. However, I can tell you that they are not rapists, murderers etc etc. They are people who make significant and meaningful contributions to our community. For a population of 20,000, we are very diverse.

  20. You’re about to get thousands and thousands more Martha. They’ll keep sending them until a firm base is established here and then it will become organic.

  21. I was always impressed with the year round diversity of Brazilians,Wampanoags,blacks and more. But we are not as equipped for what these folks needed as is Camp Edwards . Plain and simple, they were lied to. Also, Edgartown votes Republican.

  22. Just like the Defund The Police movement, illegal immigration will continue until it starts affecting the rich liberals. Then it will be addressed and the public will be gaslit on how liberals were the ones who wanted a secure border all along.

    • Based on the facts, I disagree. You do not seem to understand that MV is probably just ONE of the locations of the elite’s vacation homes. They don’t come here but for a few weeks out of the year, and if you think they’re ever going to encounter the migrants, think again. It’s the working class locals who are affected. We will work alongside them, and we will get along fine with them. DeSantis probably doesn’t care though, it’s all the same to him.

  23. MV has always been diverse and that is a good thing. Great folks.
    There is a difference however between coming here, United States, legally or illegally.
    Until January 2021 folks would apply for asylum and come in legally.
    Over 2.1 million people poured across the Southern border last year because it is an open border since January 2021. I feel sorry for the people coming across but I also feel sorry for our homeless veterans, homeless, and people in our country without a meal on the table.

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