Migrants sent to Martha's Vineyard transferred to military base

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Migrants sent to Martha's Vineyard transferred to military base

Republican state governors deported Venezuelan migrants to Martha's Vineyard. (archive)

The 50 migrants sent to the upscale island of Martha's Vineyard as part of a political battle over immigration will be temporarily accommodated at a military base not far from there, a announced Friday the governor of Massachusetts.

These migrants, mostly Venezuelans and including children, had arrived on Wednesday at Martha's Vineyard, a Democratic stronghold and place of resort popular with the political elite of the country. They had been put on board flights from Texas, but that Republican Governor of Florida Ron DeSantis claims to have chartered.

Despite local mobilization to help new arrivals, the island is not equipped to provide sustainable accommodation and state officials have developed a plan for a full humanitarian response, says a statement from the office of Massachusetts Governor Charlie Baker.

On Friday, the authorities offered to transport these migrants to a new temporary refuge on the Joint Base Cape Cod. The families will not be separated, the statement said, noting that this base had previously served as an emergency shelter and that they would have access to care and legal services.

According to local media, the migrants left Martha's Vineyard during the day. Some of them had said that when they left Texas they didn't know they were going to be sent to an island.

Local Democrat elected official Julian Cyr has called for an investigation.

Whether or not this fits the legal definition of human trafficking, it fits the moral definition of human trafficking […]. I hope the Justice Department is looking into this, he told local television.

Migrants sent from Texas and dropped off outside the residence of Vice President Kamala Harris

Sending migrants to Democratic strongholds has become a political weapon for tenors of the American right in order to denounce the policies of President Joe Biden, whom they accuse of having turned the border with Mexico into a sieve, and of trying to put immigration at the center of the campaign for the elections of mid-term, in November.

On Thursday, two buses carrying migrants arrived near the residence of Vice President Kamala Harris in Washington. A place chosen on purpose, the Democratic official being in charge of the explosive dossier of immigration to the White House. They had been sent by Texas Governor Greg Abbott.

The White House again criticized these methods on Friday, denouncing a premeditated and cruel political staging.

They are children. They are moms. They were fleeing communism. And what did Governors DeSantis and Abbott do to them? They used them as political pawns, treating them like cattle, said executive spokeswoman Karine Jean-Pierre.

Ron DeSantis joked about their transfer.

By the way, they have already taken them off [the island] by bus […]. They said 'we want everyone, no one is illegal' and [the migrants] left Martha's Vineyard within 48 hours, he said.

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