Sanctuary Home 

By Jen Mejia 

On the night of September 14th, Florida Governor Ron DeSantis dispatched 50 Venezuelan migrants to Martha’s Vineyard, a tiny island just outside of Boston and south of Cape Cod. Despite the fact that Arizona and Texas have previously transported migrants, some have labeled these moves inhumane due to the fact that Destantis used migrants for his political protest. Florida lawmakers claim they put aside almost $12 million to transport migrants to places such as California, New York, and other immigrant-friendly states.

Many prominent politicians, like Kamala Harris and former President Barack Obama, own property in Martha’s Vineyard. Governor DeSantis’ intent was to scare and intimidate the leaders of pro-immigrant cities. Upon arrival, the migrants were given shelter, food, and healthcare. Martha’s Vineyard is a small rural location with limited resources distinguishing this effort from others. In Martha’s Vineyard, these Venezuelan refugees have little space or independence. The migrants spent their nights sleeping inside of a church because of the lack of housing.  

The Venezuelan migrants were given false information, claiming they were going to Boston. These migrants are not undocumented or illegal immigrants because they arrived looking for an asylum, and are now considered asylum seekers. This means that they arrived at the Department of Homeland Security and then were processed and then released. Even if these migrants were undocoumented, the United States would still not be able to deport them back to Venezuela due to the harsh and authoritarian government that resides there. 

Many factors like violence, persecution, and poverty cause people to move to the states. These factors cause many to sympathize for them. People in our nation are concerned for these migrants from Venezuela. Where will they end up next? Will they be safe? 

UPDATE: The migrants who were flown up to Martha’s Vineyard are filing a class action lawsuit against Governor Ron Desantis of Florida alleging fraud. The migrants claim their fourth and fourteenth amendment rights have been violated. Destantis had planned on sending another plane full of migrants up to a small town in Delaware, where President Joe Biden currently has a vacation house.