Dozens of migrants arrive on Martha’s Vineyard via charter flights

A Massachusetts state senator said Wednesday that dozens of migrants arrived on Martha’s Vineyard Wednesday afternoon via charter flights. Julian Cyr, the state representative serving Cape Cod, Martha’s Vineyard, and Nantucket, claimed that the charter flights arrived from Texas. The group of approximately 50 Venezuelan migrants, some of them children, were brought to Martha’s Vineyard Regional High School where they were given snacks and shelter. They were being cared for Wednesday night by two shelters in Edgartown. “We’re going to take care of you,” Dukes County Sheriff Robert Ogden told the migrants, according to The Maratha’s Vineyard Times.”My understanding is there was no advance communication or notice that this plane and these people were arriving,” Cyr told WCVB. “The officials on Martha’s Vineyard, municipal and county officials, scrambled but did a pretty remarkable job to welcome these families.”Barb Rush and others at St. Andrew’s Episcopal Church on Summer St. in Edgartown have been working all day to help the families she says are from Venezuela, some with children as young as 2.”Many of them seem overwhelmed,” Rush said. “We’ve received calls from restaurants , offering food, people trying to help. It’s amazing.””Florida can confirm the two planes with illegal immigrants that arrived in Martha’s Vineyard were part of the state’s relocation program to transport illegal immigrants to sanctuary destinations ,” a statement from Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis’ office obtained by WCVB sister station WESH in Orlando said.”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,” the statement said. Online flight records show at least two private planes that began the day in San Antonio, Texas, that also made stops in Florida’s panhandle, before later arriving on the island. however, the statement from the governor’s spokesperson said the Florida Legislature appropriated $12 million to implement a program to facilitate the transport of undocumented immigrants from the state. DeSantis, who is running for reelection this year and is a potential 2024 presidential contender, has repeatedly criticized President Joe Biden’s immigration policies.”The Baker-Polito Administration is in touch with local officials regarding the arrival of migrants in Martha’s Vineyard,” wrote statement from Gov. Charlie Baker’s office said. “At this time, short-term shelter services are being provided by local officials, and the administration will continue to support those efforts.” “But it’s pretty disgusting that a state or a governor or whoever this is would capitalize on the unfortunate, dire circumstances of these families who are just looking for a better life. To capitalize that for a political stunt or for a ‘gotcha’ moment. That’s just disgusting.””Gov. Ron DeSantis could learn a lesson from Massachusetts on what patriotism and liberty really look like if he weren’t so busy using humans as props in a cruel stunt to buoy his pathetic political aspirations,” Massachusetts US Senator Ed Markey wrote in a post on social media.”To those who’ve just landed: we gladly embrace you.”WCVB has also reached out to US Sen. Elizabeth Warren’s office for comment.Information from WESH and the Associated Press was used in this report.

A Massachusetts state senator said Wednesday that dozens of migrants arrived on Martha’s Vineyard Wednesday afternoon via charter flights.

Julian Cyr, the state representative serving Cape Cod, Martha’s Vineyard, and Nantucket, claimed that the charter flights arrived from Texas.

The group of approximately 50 Venezuelan migrants, some of them children, were brought to Martha’s Vineyard Regional High School where they were given snacks and shelter. They were being cared for Wednesday night by two shelters in Edgartown.

“We’re going to take care of you,” Dukes County Sheriff Robert Ogden told the migrants, according to The Maratha’s Vineyard Times.

migrants arrive on martha's vineyard

“My understanding is there was no advance communication or notice that this plane and these people were arriving,” Cyr told WCVB. “The officials on Martha’s Vineyard, municipal and county officials, scrambled but did a pretty remarkable job to welcome these families.”

Barb Rush and others at St. Andrew’s Episcopal Church on Summer St. in Edgartown have been working all day to help the families she says are from Venezuela, some with children as young as 2.

“Many of them seem overwhelmed,” Rush said. “We’ve received calls from restaurants, offering food, people trying to help. It’s amazing.”

Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis speaks during a press conference announcing expanded toll  relief for Florida commuters, Wednesday, Sept. 7, 2022, in Miami,  x20;Fla. (AP Photo/Rebecca Blackwell)

“Florida can confirm the two planes with illegal immigrants that arrived in Martha’s Vineyard [Wednesday] were part of the state’s relocation program to transport illegal immigrants to sanctuary destinations,” a statement from Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis’ office obtained by WCVB sister station WESH in Orlando said.

“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,” the statement said.

Online flight records show at least two private planes that began the day in San Antonio, Texas, that also made stops in Florida’s panhandle, before later arriving on the island.

It was not immediately clear who paid for the private charter flights to the island, however, the statement from the governor’s spokesperson said the Florida Legislature appropriated $12 million to implement a program to facilitate the transport of undocumented immigrants from the state.

migrants arrive on martha's vineyard

DeSantis, who is running for reelection this year and is a potential 2024 presidential contender, has repeatedly criticized President Joe Biden’s immigration policies.

“The Baker-Polito Administration is in touch with local officials regarding the arrival of migrants in Martha’s Vineyard,” a written statement from Gov. Charlie Baker’s office said. “At this time, short-term shelter services are being provided by local officials, and the administration will continue to support those efforts.”

“This is an island that is in the business of welcoming people,” Cyr said. “But it’s pretty disgusting that a state or a governor or whoever this is would capitalize on the unfortunate, dire circumstances of these families who are just looking for a better life. To capitalize that for a political stunt or for a ‘gotcha’ moment. That’s just disgusting.”

“Gov. Ron DeSantis could learn a lesson from Massachusetts on what patriotism and liberty really look like if he weren’t so busy using humans as props in a cruel stunt to buoy his pathetic political aspirations,” Massachusetts US Senator Ed Markey wrote in a post on social media. “To those who’ve just landed: we gladly embrace you.”

WCVB has also reached out to US Sen. Elizabeth Warren’s office for comment.

Information from WESH and the Associated Press was used in this report.

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