The liberal enclave of Martha’s Vineyard has been thrown into chaos by the arrival of two planeloads of migrants sent there by Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis, according to local reports.
Local officials on the Massachusetts island were told about the new arrivals during a Wednesday night meeting of the West Tisbury Select Board — with Town Administrator Jennifer Rand saying she’d been receiving “furious texts” from residents, the MV Times reported.
“I’m a little unclear about the situation, as is everybody, because everybody is scrambling a bit,” Rand said.
Rand said about 50 migrants were headed to the St. Andrews Church in Edgartown and might be given short-term housing at the Martha’s Vineyard Agricultural Society’s “Ag Hall.”
But that won’t work for long because it doesn’t have beds or showers, she said, adding that feeding the migrants could be difficult, too, because the Martha’s Vineyard Red Cross was “not participating” in the official response.
In a prepared statement Thursday, the Red Cross said it’s “been in contact with local emergency management, and while we have not yet been asked to provide any local support, we stand ready to do that.”
Beth Folcarelli, chief executive officer of Martha’s Vineyard Community Services, told the Vineyard Gazette that the migrants “came with folders with a pamphlet with our information.
“We don’t have refugee services, I had no idea about any of this,” she said.
“I only found out because one of them gave me their folder.”
Local high-school senior Maria Sanchez Roa, who was born in Colombia, said she was recruited to serve as an emergency translator.
“I was home watching Princess Diana videos when my mom burst through the door and told me to go to the high school,” she said.
“I’m here because I’m a Hispanic kid who speaks Spanish.”
Martha’s Vineyard has long been a favored vacation spot for left-leaning celebrities and Democratic pols including former President Barack Obama, who owns an $11.75 million estate where he celebrated his 60th birthday with a blow-out party last year.
But former Secretary of State Mike Pompeo told Fox News that “I doubt they’ll embrace” the migrants on Martha’s Vineyard.
“You know, these are all sanctuary cities until they’re in their sanctuary,” he said Wednesday night on “Jesse Watters Primetime.”
Online responses to the reports about the migrant arrivals included outrage from readers, including one who said, “Any blame lays at the feet of President Biden.
“Thousands of people pour into the country daily and the federal government refuses to set any policy whatsoever other than the door is wide open,” wrote Fred from Edgartown.
“What’s most amazing is that we have a serious humanitarian issue and the current administration has no idea what to do (anybody seen or heard from the border czar? Still no root causes). Blaming over run governors of border states who never claimed to be sanctuary havens is ignoring the problem.”
Eric, from Tisbury, called on Gov. Charlie Baker to “open up barracks” on nearby Cape Cod to house the migrants while the state figures out what to do.
“We do not have enough housing for the people living here,” Eric said.
Helen from Vineyard Haven wrote, “Now I see why they want a new giant school in Vineyard Haven and ASAP.
“I have been in tears for weeks over our taxes in VH going through the roof and worrying how to pay them, now this! I cant take much more, I senior citizen, alone and I am a 7th generation island native on a very fixed income,” Helen wrote.