EDGARTOWN, MASS. (WHDH) - As the migrants who landed on Martha’s Vineyard with little notice Wednesday spent their second night on the island, some are having a change of heart.
Pablo, 27, said he feels like he was lured to Martha’s Vineyard with false promises.
“We were tricked, taken advantage of,” a translator for Pablo said.
This story is one that immigration attornies who interviewed the migrants said they were told repeatedly: migrants were shown simple maps showing a line to Massachusetts and another of the Vineyard. Then they were told there would be jobs and housing there. The attornies said the migrants were also given incorrect information and false addresses to pursue their hopes of legal immigration.
“It could not be clearer that this is an attempt to ensure that these people are ordered removed, even as they try as hard as they can to comply,” said immigration attorney Rachel Shelf.
The migrants arrived suddenly on Wednesday afternoon, with Republican Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis announcing that he sent them to make states like Massachusetts share the burden of border states.
“If you have folks that are inclined to think Florida is a good place our message to them is we are not a sanctuary state and it’s better to be able to go to a sanctuary jurisdiction,” said DeSantis. “We will help facilitate that transport for you to be able to go to greener pastures.”
Rapid support followed the unexpected arrival, with locals working around the clock over the last 24 hours to accommodate the nearly 50 people who were flown to the Vineyard but resources are limited on the island.
Massachusetts Gov. Charlie Baker announced Thursday that his office is considering moving the nearly 50 migrants from Edgartown to Joint Base Cape Cod, where they would be temporarily housed.
State Sen. Julian Cyr, D-Truro, said he hopes the Department of Justice and the Massachusetts Attorney General look at pursuing criminal charges for those who sent the migrants here.
“Whether or not this meets the legal threshold of human trafficking this meets the moral threshold of human trafficking,” Cyr said.
Shelter operators on Martha’s Vineyard said they’re prepared to house and feed the migrants through Saturday afternoon but said they will go beyond that if they have to.
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