Why Did the Florida Governor Send 50 Migrants to Martha’s Vineyard?

Lizzy investigates why Florida's Governor sends migrants to Martha's Vineyard.


Long ago, it was decided that this nation was going to be one destined for great futurity. That this nation was going to be one of human progress and that it was going to be governed by the moral law of equality. However, the harsh oppression that immigrants go through under the law of this country contradicts that. One bad decision is all it takes for a series of people to have an immense impact from it. In this case, that decision was made by the Republican Florida Governor, Ron DeSantis. His reason as to why he chose to send 50 Venezuelan migrants to Martha’s Vineyard at about 3:15 PM on Wednesday, Sept. 14 remains a mystery. But, what everyone knows is that the isolation and wealth that the island has, put these migrants in a position where they would lack basic necessities.


According to these desperate asylum-seekers, they were misled and lured into a plane that would lead them to a supposed better life in which they would be able to work and provide for their families. As many of them had said, a woman named Perla appeared as the answers to their prayers in San Antonio and promised them food and transportation. They mentioned that they trusted her whole-heartedly and were extremely grateful for her services. However, as much as they were desperate, she was persistent in getting these migrants to a ‘’sanctuary state’’ for 90 days. She allegedly said that she had jobs for 50 people but she never mentioned where they would be heading.


When they arrived on an island that they didn’t know about, they didn’t know what to do other than hopelessly worry. As claimed by a helpless migrant, Jose, they had been transported to the nonprofit Martha’s Vineyard Community Services in which a non-spanish speaker would receive them but unexpectedly doing so. He cried, ‘’If I tell you how I felt, I want to cry,” Jose said. “I felt destroyed inside, tricked, frightened. I didn’t know if they were going to put me in jail, if they’d deport me. I just wanted to get to Philadelphia.” However, as presented, the only problem wasn’t that they were flown to an island without their consent, but that it was to a place that would lack the ability to aid fatigued, poor, human beings who desired to breathe free.


The island has just a handful of organizations issued to help its small year-round population let alone, 50 migrants. “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,” NPR stated. Boston or another mainland Massachusetts city might have been able to assist the Venezuelans. But DeSantis’ choice of an island about nine miles wide and 26 miles long was rather risky for the migrants. Many of them wanted to escape but they weren’t surrounded by anything other than water. Javier Salazar, sheriff of Bexar county in San Antonio, said: “I believe that they were preyed upon. Somebody came from out of state and preyed upon these people, lured them with promises of a better life which is what they were absolutely looking for, and hoodwinked into making this trip to Florida and then onward to Martha’s Vineyard for what I believe to be nothing more than political posturing.”


Although the Florida governor benefited greatly from this and gained political points, he also faces legal challenges including an investigation by a Texas sheriff, who called it a “predatory” operation, a federal class-action lawsuit by the migrants alleging a “premeditated, fraudulent, and illegal scheme,” and a Democratic lawmaker’s state lawsuit challenging the governor’s use of a $12 million migrant relocation fund. Nevertheless, his office jumped in on brushing off these alleged claims and said in a statement, “Florida’s program gave them a fresh start in a sanctuary state.”




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