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Illegal Immigrants Get the Boot After One Day on Martha’s Vineyard

Migrants line up to leave Martha's Vineyard / Reuters
• September 16, 2022 3:10 pm

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Just one day after Gov. Ron DeSantis (R., Fla.) flew roughly 50 illegal immigrants to Martha's Vineyard, Massachusetts is giving them the boot.

On Friday morning the migrants boarded buses to a ferry and left the wealthy liberal island, escorted by National Guard troops to a military base on Cape Cod.

The flights are part of an effort by DeSantis and Texas governor Greg Abbott (R.) to transport migrants to states whose leaders have endorsed "sanctuary" laws and lax immigration enforcement but haven't faced the large influx of migrants that southern states have.

The unannounced arrival of migrants caused chaos at Martha's Vineyard, which has a year-round population of roughly 20,000. Some locals and organizations on the island pitched in to shelter and feed the migrants, but others were less welcoming. "We don't have housing for 50 more people," said one resident who insisted the new arrivals couldn't stay.

Democrats, including failed presidential candidate Hillary Clinton, called DeSantis's move an unethical exploitation of migrants and "human trafficking." But the administrations of DeSantis and Abbott insist the migrants know where they're going and are not forced to take the buses and planes.

"The minute even a small fraction of what those border towns deal with every day is brought to their front door, they all of a sudden go berserk and they're so upset this is happening," DeSantis said Friday of blue states. "It just shows you, you know, their virtue signaling is a fraud."