Dozens of migrants arrived by plane on Martha’s Vineyard, as Republican governors escalate their campaign against President Biden’s border policies by transporting refugees out of their states and to Democratic-led states or liberal enclaves.
Their arrival on Wednesday on the affluent summer resort island in Massachusetts appeared to raise questions about where they came from and how they got there.
Two flights were part of a state program to relocate undocumented immigrants, according to Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis’ (R) communications director.
“States like Massachusetts, New York, and California will better facilitate the care of these individuals who they have invited into our country by incentivizing illegal immigration through their designation as ‘sanctuary states,’ and support for the Biden administration’s open border policies,” Taryn Fenske, DeSantis’ communications director, said, according to the Associated Press.
The group was “dropped off on Martha’s Vineyard by chartered flights from Texas,” according to state Rep. Dylan Fernandes, a Democrat who represents the island.
“We came here because of the situation in our country, for the economy, for work, for a variety of reasons,” one of the passengers told the Vineyard Gazette, which reported that the passengers were mostly from Venezuela and included Colombians.
“I came here on foot.” “We went through ten different countries before arriving in Texas,” he explained. “A refugee organization put us on a plane and said there would be work and housing here.” Despite everything, I’m feeling good.”
Massachusetts Gov. Charlie Baker’s (R) office said he was in contact with local authorities who were providing temporary shelter to migrants flown to Martha’s Vineyard.
The island, where former presidents such as Barack Obama vacation and Hollywood celebrities’ own property, is home to an estimated 20,000 people.
The coastal getaway has become the latest flashpoint in the nation’s immigration debate. Thousands of people, including families with children, have arrived in Washington after Texas Gov. Greg Abbott (R) began offering free transportation to the nation’s capital, and Arizona Gov. Doug Ducey (R) followed suit. Buses have also been dispatched to New York and Chicago.
“We can’t just stop sending illegal aliens to DC!” Send them to Rehoboth Beach, Delaware, so that Biden can see them, or to Martha’s Vineyard and Cupertino, California. Rich liberals swirl Chardonnay everywhere.” Last month, Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Texas) stated.
Republican governors have sought to draw attention to the number of border crossings and what they see as lax Biden administration policies. The White House has stated that they should “stop meddling” in the influx of people and using migrants as “political tools.”
Residents “jumped into action,” according to Fernandes, to provide 50 beds, meals, and health-care support after the group, which included children, was dropped off with “no notice.”
According to Juan Pappier, a senior Americas researcher at Human Rights Watch, 32,000 migrants crossed the Darien Gap last month, a perilous route people take from South America to seek refuge in the United States.
He claimed it was “the highest number on record,” with 23,000 Venezuelans, and that “migrants are subjected to very serious abuses, including sexual violence.”