Joint Base Cape Cod — Shortly after noon on Friday, a group of migrants, mostly from Venezuela, arrived at their new temporary home on Cape Cod after their unexpected arrival on Martha’s Vineyard on Wednesday.
Officials have been working to provide shelter, food and support to the group of about 50 immigrants since arriving in wealthy Massachusetts on Wednesday afternoon.
Florida’s governor amid a storm of criticism from advocates and political opponents. Ron DeSantis took credit for chartering the two flights and vowed to continue the relocation plan Friday.
A spokesman for DeSantis said the migrants were airlifted to Martha’s Vineyard as part of the governor’s “commitment to abandon undocumented immigration in progressive states.”
Their arrival comes after the governor of Texas. Greg Abbott and the Governor of Arizona. Doug Ducey criticized the Biden administration’s border security and immigration policies and sent immigrants to New York City, Chicago and Washington. By late August, nearly 8,000 migrant workers traveled on state-funded buses, straining city resources.
Biden called the move reckless and un-American on Thursday. “Instead of working with us to solve problems, the Republicans are playing politics with humans and using them as props,” Biden said.
DeSantis said on Friday he was “confused” to hear Biden’s planned federal response: “It’s only when you have 50 illegal aliens that end up in a very rich, rich enclave that (Biden) will decide. Fight for that,” he said.
background:DeSantis says 50 people who flew to Martha’s Vineyard were ‘illegal immigrants’
What’s next?Texas, Arizona bus migrants head to US city, now Chicago
The Dukes County Emergency Management Association said in a release Friday that the group was moved to Joint Base Cape Cod, home to five military commands, where state and local officials are coordinating food with volunteers , shelter and basic services.
Here’s what we know:
Immigration lawyer says immigrants ‘get scammed again and again’
Immigrants arriving on Martha’s Vineyard were wrongly told there would be jobs and housing waiting for them upon arrival, an immigration lawyer told reporters on Thursday.
“The accounts of the migrants who arrived last night clearly show that they have been scammed time and time again,” Rachel Self said.
The immigrants received jobs, free housing and $50 gift cards, said Domingo Garcia, president of United Latin American Citizens Coalition, a Washington-based civil rights group.
He said they received red folders containing fake documents that proved to be promises of jobs and housing, and flew privately chartered to Martha’s Vineyard with at least one stopover en route.
Follow the flight:Florida Gov. DeSantis transports 50 migrants from Texas to Martha’s Vineyard
Julio Henriquez, a lawyer who met with several immigrants, said they “did not know where they were going or where they were.”
Self said many immigrants made appointments with ICE Monday morning in Texas, Washington and the District of Columbia — and they feared missing those appointments.
U.S. officials told immigration attorneys that requesting check-in would be delayed, Henricks said. DHS officials did not immediately respond to a request for comment Friday.
Bus, ferry with group to Cape Cod
The group left a church where they took refuge on Friday and boarded a bus bound for the Vineyard Haven ferry terminal. Police and state emergency management officials escorted the group through the crowd. As the migrants passed the flashing lights, they stopped to say goodbye to the islanders who welcomed them.
At the ferry terminal, Everlides Dela Hoz said she didn’t know where she was going. Dela Hoz travels from Venezuela with her husband and 25-year-old son. On Friday, she said she was told beds would be available and safe, and promised they would help with the job search.
After a brief passage to the mainland, the migrants arrived at the Steamship Authority’s Woods Hole station. Onlookers erupted into applause as their bus left the boat, led by a state police escort.
State Rep. Dylan Fernandes, a Democrat, told reporters at the Steamship Authority Pier in Woods Hole that immigrants had the option to travel to the base, but he did not know the exact number of people who arrived there Friday.
“This is what good government actually looks like, what compassionate government actually looks like,” Fernandez said. “I’m incredibly proud of the people of Martha’s Vineyard and Cape Cod, and I’m so proud of the state team for bringing this to life so quickly. It’s a huge pride in everything coming together. We’re a community that has come together to give them the resources they need, helped by a tremendous amount of support from around the world.”
tomorrow:Cubans, Haitians are fleeing to America in historic numbers. These crises are fueling immigration.
Shelter and humanitarian support will be provided at Joint Base Cape Cod
Gov. Charlie Baker’s office announced Friday morning that it plans to work with the Massachusetts Emergency Management Agency and other officials to provide new shelters and humanitarian support at the base on the Upper Corner. The governor said he would activate up to 125 members of the Massachusetts National Guard to assist.
At Joint Base Cape Cod, immigrants will find respite in dorm-style accommodations. Emergency management officials said there will be space for both singles and families, and families will stay together. They will be given clothes and toiletries, as well as food.
They will also have access to legal and health care services, as well as mental health and crisis counseling, officials said. An interpreter will be on site to assist with communication.
Joint Base Cape Cod is a 22,000-acre facility that is a designated emergency shelter in Barnstable County. It is used in training exercises by the National Guard, Air Force and Coast Guard. It is the only Coast Guard aviation facility in the Northeast and monitors waters from New Jersey to the Canadian border.
Very little information provided about the flight
DeSantis drew on the playbook of fellow Republican Texas governor. Greg Abbott, surprising cities and states with Democratic-led influx of immigrants. Providing little or no information is part of the plan.
Florida Governor DeSantis:50 people who flew to Martha’s Vineyard were ‘illegal immigrants’
Julio Henriquez said two flights from San Antonio to Martha’s Vineyard stopped in the Florida Panhandle. The Miami Herald reported, citing information from flight tracking company FlightAware, that the flights originated in Texas and stopped in Florida and North Carolina.
Meanwhile, questions have been raised about whether the DeSantis administration is authorized to transport migrants from his state. The Miami Herald reported that DeSantis’ comments at a news conference on Thursday indicated that “his efforts have prevented these immigrants from reaching Florida.” According to the Herald, DeSantis is under the state budget. The Tees government is only allowed to “transport unauthorized aliens from the state”.
Biden: Republicans are ‘playing politics with people’
Some Republicans, including former President Donald Trump’s chief architect of immigration policy Stephen Miller, celebrated the accidental flight while critics derided them as inhumane.
Pillar:Ron DeSantis’ Martha’s Vineyard stunt brutally uses immigrants as pawns for humans, doesn’t help anyone
White House press secretary Carin Jean-Pierre on Thursday accused DeSantis and Abbott of abandoning the Martha’s Vineyard immigrants, calling the incident a “brutal political stunt.”
Hours later, President Joe Biden made that sentiment while criticizing Republican officials at the Congressional Hispanic Caucus Academy Gala.
“Instead of working with us to solve problems, the Republicans are playing politics with humans and using them as props,” Biden said. “What they’re doing is completely wrong. It’s un-American. It’s reckless. “
Contributors: N’dea Yancey-Bragg, Rick Jervis, and Rebecca Morin, USA TODAY; Bruce Bowman, Pensacola News Magazine; Gwenn Friss, Cape Cod Times; Associated Press