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Migrant Migration
News Bytes 09/19/2022 6 Comments

The governors of Texas and Arizona have bused thousands of migrants to New York, Chicago, and Washington, D.C., in recent months. But the latest moves—including two flights to Martha’s Vineyard paid for by Florida—are next-level. Critics call the actions inhumane; proponents hope they’re getting the government’s attention.

Governors along the southern U.S. border are tired of feeling like no one understands their woes. In response, they’re sending migrants to places with politicians who seem deaf to their pleas for help—mostly without advance warning.

Upon arrival in Martha’s Vineyard, the vacation island south of Boston, the town appeared to absorb dozens of mainly Venezuelan migrants without a major hitch. Most soon had meals, shelter, health care, and information about where to find work.

Elizabeth Folcarelli, chief executive of a community nonprofit, was wrapping up work when she saw 48 Venezuelans with luggage and backpacks approach her office.

“They were told that they would have a job and they would have housing,” says Folcarelli. She describes the scramble for shelter as a “huge challenge.”

Migrants played soccer and hung out in small groups while meeting visiting attorneys—who gave free advice—and other service providers.

Florida Governor Ron DeSantis says the flights to Martha’s Vineyard were part of an effort to “transport illegal immigrants to sanctuary destinations.” The Florida Legislature has earmarked $12 million to transport “unauthorized aliens” out of state.

On Thursday, two buses arrived at the home of Vice President Kamala Harris at the United States Naval Observatory in Washington, D.C. The buses from Texas carried more than 100 migrants from Colombia, Cuba, Guyana, Nicaragua, Panama, and Venezuela.

“The Biden-Harris administration continues ignoring and denying the historic crisis at our southern border, which has endangered and overwhelmed Texas communities for almost two years,” Texas Governor Greg Abbott says.

Here’s what happens: After migrants seeking asylum cross the U.S.-Mexico border, they spend time in a U.S. Customs and Border Protection facility along the border. Then they are usually released into the United States to wait out their cases.

Republicans say President Biden’s policies encourage migrants to vanish into the country. Democrats argue the Trump-era policy of forcing migrants to wait out their asylum cases in Mexico was inhumane.

White House press secretary Karine Jean-Pierre says federal officials were not told in advance about the transportation of migrants to Massachusetts and Washington.

“We’re talking about children; we’re talking about families who were promised a home, promised a job, put on a bus, and driven to a place that they do not know,” says Jean-Pierre, who called the governors’ actions a “cruel, premeditated political stunt.”

Abbott has bused 7,900 migrants to Washington since April, later sending 2,200 to New York and 300 to Chicago. Arizona Governor Doug Ducey has bused more than 1,800 migrants to Washington since May. Passengers must sign waivers that the free trips are voluntary.

DeSantis has begun using planes. He chose Martha’s Vineyard, whose harbor towns are home to about 15,000 people. The area is far less prepared than New York or Washington for large migrant influxes.

Texas and Florida infuriated officials in destination cities by failing to provide passenger rosters, estimated times of arrival, and other information that would allow cities to prepare. In contrast, Arizona has coordinated with officials in other cities.

President Biden is facing the same challenges of former President Trump: a broken U.S. asylum system and massive migrant influxes from other countries.

Some Republicans celebrated the latest delivery of migrants from border states.

“Welcome to being a state on the Southern border, Massachusetts,” tweeted DeSantis spokesman Jeremy Redfern.

Stephen Miller, a Trump administration immigration advisor, was even more sarcastic. He says bringing “a few million” migrants to Martha’s Vineyard should transform the island of about 15,000 people into “a modern Eden.”

How do you think Christians should respond to these “shipments” of other humans into such areas without giving advance notice for making preparations? Does the political point being made warrant that kind of treatment of fellow image-bearers of our God?

(Immigrants gather with their belongings outside St. Andrews Episcopal Church on Wednesday September 14, 2022, in Edgartown, Massachusetts, on Martha’s Vineyard. Ray Ewing/Vineyard Gazette via AP)

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Most recent comments

1st comment

I think this is a good, and almost humorous idea by the governors!

nice, I would have done the

nice, I would have done the same thing. Goes along with the saying “what comes around goes around.”

3rd comment

This is great. Our governors need to be doing this. Here's the crazy thing about Martha's Vineyard. It's permanent residents are about 15,000, but in season there can be around 200,000. For nine months out of the year, two thirds of it housing sits vacant. And about 50 migrants show up, and the people freak out, not knowing what to do. They call in the National Guard to help with the "humanitarian crisis" and feed them simple rice for one meal, and then try to get them shipped out of there and back to the mainland. These people that are millionaires with ten bedroom houses, Air BNB's, etc., and that also proudly say that their island is a sanctuary city, they freak out when 50 migrants come. It is wrong and it is ridiculous. They are the ones that have the money and means to help them. They can rise up to 200,000 during busy seaon, but can't take in 50 migrants?

Epic

This is a total boss move by the governors. It really shows the hypocrisy of the liberal elite, if they really believed that we should let all these illegals into the country and take care of them on "government" dime they would be willing to help them out with their own riches.
The mayor of Washington DC had the audacity to say, "We aren't Texas, we can't take care of this many immigrants." when Texas and other border states are dealing with that number of aliens every day.

@Riley and Asher

Well said! I absolutely agree. It is so hypocritical and contradicting!
I think this was a good move by Abbot. Texas has been dealing with a border crisis for quite a while now and by sending some people up to other places it is reveling the true colors of those who call themselves a "sanctuary city".
There is a huge problem at the border right now. People are literally dying from heat exhaustion and the humid and difficult elements. Texas is dealing with a lot. Something needs to change.

@All

Meanwhile, while Biden is enjoying the car show...

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