Migrants are welcome on the island of Martha’s Vineyard….

… but they need to be “off island”. “‘I Ended Up on This Little Island’: Migrants Land in Political Drama” (New York Times, today):

Ardenis Nazareth, newly arrived from Venezuela, was standing in a McDonald’s parking lot across the street from a San Antonio shelter a few days ago contemplating his next steps. … Then she made an enticing offer: a free flight to a “sanctuary,” he recalled, where there were people to help them get on their feet. The place was called Massachusetts. … he was surprised when he found himself on Martha’s Vineyard, a small, picturesque vacation destination in the Atlantic. “I thought I was coming to Boston,” he said. “I ended up on this little island.”

“I left my country to support my family,” said Mr. Nazareth, a 34-year-old construction worker. He said that since leaving his home country 18 months ago he had tried to make a living in Peru and Chile. But he could not make ends meet, and word spread among his friends that Venezuelans were managing to enter the United States, where jobs were plentiful.

On Thursday, Mr. Nazareth expressed gratitude for the warm reception that he and his brethren had received in Martha’s Vineyard. “They’re treating us super well,” he said.

“We’re getting food, clothing, all our needs met. I love Massachusetts!”

The migrants arrived just as the busy season ended and during one of the worst affordable housing shortages in the island’s history.

The church where they are staying is home to the sole homeless shelter on the island. St. Andrew’s sits in a quiet corner of Edgartown, off the main drag where summer visitors feast on dripping ice cream and oysters.

“We are meeting their needs for food, shelter, and we are definitely supplying them with a lot of love,” said Lisa Belcastro, the manager of the only homeless shelter on the island. “They need to be off island. Their immigration appointments are not here.”

Perhaps this need for migrants to “be off island” will abate if the Obamas begin work on a migrant shelter at their 29-acre Martha’s Vineyard estate. Given the number of seasonal houses on MVY, there should be immediate space for at least 50,000 migrants to live between now and May 2023. After that, Google Maps shows that there is plenty of undeveloped land near the MVY airport and to the south. Much of this land is actually owned by the Commonwealth of Massachusetts and thus there would be no obstacle to building permanent housing for as many migrants as wish to settle in this exclusive vacation paradise.

Folks in Massachusetts who say that life in Texas and Florida is intolerable due to malgovernance, the lack of abortion care for pregnant people in reproductive health care settings, etc., now also say that migrants are being injured by being transported from Texas and Florida to Massachusetts. One friend on Facebook, regarding Air DeSantis:

State tax money should not be used to fund a politician primary [sic] at the expense of the lives of asylum seekers whose life’s [sic] are already miserable.

He implies that arriving by chartered jet to MVY is somehow a bad thing for asylum-seekers. If Florida and Texas are bad due to their respective infestations of Republicans, shouldn’t the Massachusetts Democrat be happy and relieved that a migrant has found his/her/zir/their way to Massachusetts? Gavin Newsom says that being given free transportation to a Democrat-governed Science-following state is “inhumane” and that the people who arrange this transportation should be prosecuted as kidnappers.

Not everyone sees this as criminal kidnapping:

Another strange aspect to Democrats’ response to the arrival of migrants in their own states and cities is the allegation that Ron DeSantis is wasting taxpayers’ money by chartering regional jets. Colleges can afford to charter regional jets to move sports teams around. If a state-funded college can afford to charter a regional jet, why can’t a state afford to charter a regional jet or Airbus A320? (Florida state government took in 21 percent more than was spent in the last fiscal year, resulting in a $22 billion surplus. If we assume per-passenger charter costs of $1,000 that’s enough to fund transportation for 22 million migrants.)

Update from Alex (comments below): “MA National Guard Activated To Aid Martha’s Vineyard Migrants”. Rather than enjoy access to water, cash jobs from folks with “No Human Being is Illegal” signs on their front lawns, etc., the 50 migrants will be moved off the island at gunpoint by 125 soldiers and confined to an inland military base.


38 thoughts on “Migrants are welcome on the island of Martha’s Vineyard….

  1. The reactions from people on The Vineyard don’t surprise me. The wealthy there don’t just usually give their money away to just *anyone* you know. They usually give it away to each other in exchange for even *more*. When they commit philanthopy, it is almost always planned well in advance both for the maximum tax benefit but also personal recognition, and it is almost always to charities and that have been vetted by their lawyers and accountants or prominently suggested by friends at wine and cheese parties. You know, your friend’s lawyer suggests donating to save the Patagonian Cocoanut Worm from the effects of pesticide spraying.

    The wealthy people there also like making sure they recognize new faces in town. They know the locals, of course – the municipal workers, the UPS delivery drivers, the trinket shop owners, the bed and breakfast people with their tacky knick knacks, and, of course, the tourists. But those people pay to get to the island and pay to live there, and there are just enough of them to keep the place running while not stinking it up or roughing it up. And their numbers are controlled.

    Now yiu start bringing in these migrants and it REALLY IS CRUEL, to THEM! The wealthy people on Martha’s Vineyard, that is. All kinds of worries take hold. Are there enough police on duty? Who speaks that language? Isn’t there a program off-island for that? This is NOT in their comfort zone. It is also not how the Ruling Class treat each other — we’re talking to YOU Governor DeSantis. This is not the way fellow Masters of the Universe go about their business.

    Hence the apopleptic anger.

    • By the way, your friend notes, when yiu donate to save the Patagonian Cocoanut Worm, all of which is tax-deductible, you should also spend a few says visiting the habitat, where a new company making Patagonian Foie Gras Nonstick Cookery is just getting started. Gordon Ramsay is going to mention it soon, and you will love when your chef cooks with them too. And be an early investor in this delicious venture. That’s the kind of migrants people on Martha’s Vineyard like to see. The ones who show up with some cheese and a couple bottles of wine.

    • More likely than not the charity is Harvard University (current endowment: $53 billion), where the donation also has the handy side-effect of allowing your offspring to skip the line for admissions, but apparently it is too minor a quid-pro-quo to trigger the IRS provisions making the donation no longer tax deductible.

  2. You have to imagine with the summer over a large percentage of homes on the island will be vacant during the next 8 months or so so why not let these “dreamers” live there? Or is the preference that the homes sit empty and the dreamers lodge in a dump in impoverished cities like Laredo or McAllen?

    • Dreamers are kids whose parents brought them the the US, who grew up as Americans but have not legal status.

      Most of those flown to MV are Venezuelans fleeing a country is utter chaos, just looking for a way to support their families – just like most of our grandparents and great grandparents. If there was no work in the U.S. the word would get out tomorrow and they’d stop coming immediately.

    • Ricky: “The Vineyard is home to roughly 17,000 year-round residents. During the summer months, the population increases to nearly 200,000. Sixty-three percent of all homes on the Vineyard belong to seasonal residents.” — https://www.mvy.com/faq.html

      I think that the data in https://www.mvcommission.org/sites/default/files/docs/Population_and_Housing_Profile.pdf is better. “The summer population is five times the winter population, about 75,000 compared to about 15,000.”

      So it would be straightforward to shelter at least 60,000 migrants on MVY if folks on the island who have displayed “No Human Being is Illegal” signs in their yards wished to do so.

  3. This just in: Governor Baker has activated the National Guard to help move the 50 migrants to Joint Base Cape Cod in Buzzard’s Bay where the Massachusetts Emergency Management Agency will take care of them. So they are definitely going OFF ISLAND, to a military base adjacent to a cemetary and a prison. Can’t have them wandering the streets like the NYT photo.


    Baker is activating 125 National Guard troops, so there will be more than two of them for each migrant,

    • Alex: Thanks for this! It is kidnapping and a crime against humanity when migrants are voluntarily moved from FL or TX to MVY. It is virtuous when migrants are moved involuntarily from the beautiful Vineyard to the crummy inland part of the Cape (on a military base so they won’t interact in any way with ordinary citizens).

      The best thing about this article is that the forced moved at gunpoint is characterized as “aid”.

      Instead of being free to roam the Vineyard, wade in the ocean, do cash work for the locals with “No Human Being Is Illegal” signs on their lawns, etc., they will be confined to an inland military base.

    • @philg: You’re welcome! I’m sure that Gavin Newsom, Charlie Baker and Joe Biden are working to think of ways they can activate someone or something to move Ron DeSantis and Greg Abbott to a military base somewhere, too, so they can also be protected from interactions with ordinary citizens. We’ll see what transpires in the next few days.

    • @philg: It also raises a lot of other questions: if these 50 migrants who claim they “love Massachusetts!” are dangerous enough to be moved at gunpoint to a military base, doesn’t that mean that at least some people are legitimately concerned that they might be dangerous, or criminals? If there are no dangerous criminals potentially among the group, why all the firepower and confinement to a military base?

      Even more generally, are Charlie Baker, Gavin Newsom and Joe Biden ready to send all of the migrants coming across the border to a military base? Why does it only make sense for 50 migrants on Martha’s Vineyard? If the’re so afraid of 50, why aren’t they afraid of millions of others?

    • I assume they were moved in response to this 911 call:

      “Hello, is this 911? Yes, there are brown-looking Latinx people outside my 20,000-square-foot seaside home, and they aren’t even carrying leaf blowers,” said a terrified Mavis McWhite to the dispatcher. “They aren’t even holding so much as a rake. They’re up to no good. I’m scared! Please send help!”


    • tells us that MV residents perceived the 50 migrants to be dangerous enough that a more than 2:1 ratio of National Guard was needed to escort them to Buzzards Point. Why isn’t anyone asking why 125 humans are needed to control 50 humans?

  4. Seems like there is plenty of housing out there for the migrants to winter on Martha’s Vineyard and summer in Beacon Hill or Boston Common.

    • They don’t want them there. If DeSantis had dropped them off in Worcester or one of the other Poor Mine towns in MA like Springfield, nobody would have batted an eyelash. DeSantis put them in the epicenter of liberal hypocrisy and now the shit is hitting the fan.

    • I hope he sends the next 50 to Chappaqua, NY, which is where Hillary and Bill Clinton live. George Soros has a house there too, from what I recall. They should bus a few hundred mixed-nationality migrants right up the Saw Mill River Parkway and dump them right in front of their houses, several hundred at a time.

      Those migrants should be able to get jobs *instantly* by working to fix the halfway-destroyed old guard rails in the median of the Saw Mill River Parkway. They can pay them under the table and let them keep their government benefits.

      Then they should continue the program and drop them off in every single liberal governor’s city in the country. All of them. Unload a couple hundred in Tarrytown, NY, too, while they’re at it.


    • I would send them to the Hamptons, and to Provincetown.

      In the Hamptons, the migrants could hobnob with their political sponsors.

      In Provincetown, the migrants could learn about American religious rituals.

      Both locations have an enormous amount of vacant housing this time of year.

    • But my favorite destination would be for DeSantis and/or Abbot to send a few dozen busloads of migrants to Great Barrington, MA.

      “Both a summer resort and home to Ski Butternut, a ski resort, Great Barrington includes the villages of Van Deusenville and Housatonic.”

      If it’s a summer resort, there are surely a lot of rental properties and homes available for the winter months. We know that Doctor Alan Chartock was “furious” at the people who wrote the Great Barrington Declaration, but as the President of WAMC Public Radio he supports mass immigration as the Biden Administration has directed it. I think he needs some, too -right there in his home town.

      “The town’s median household income was $95,490, and the median family income was $103,135.”

      Presumably they all have a grand or two to spare to house and feed some migrants and asylum seekers. Let’s see them put their money where their mouths are. Great Barrington has a nice shopping district and I’d be surprised if they’re not suffering from staffing shortages from people nearby who don’t want to work.


  5. LOL. All “liberals” (they’re nothing of the sort, of course) are hypocrites. They are all for helping those in need as long as helping is done at somebody else’s expense. Their charity is all fake, and usually does a lot of damage to people it’s supposed to help (but it does help to reduce the tax liability, of course). Of course, the dear liberals are all for freedom and free speech. As long as it’s their own speech – the deplorables need to be silenced, and if you get a liberal drunk enough to lower the barriers, zir/zer deepest heart’s desire is to see the deplorables herded into concentration camps and stuffed into gas chambers.

    No wonder they are so happy to express their solidarity with the actual Banderite neo-Nazis.

  6. The NYT comment section is amusing. Some people are calling this “human trafficking” and worse. Why is giving people a free flight to one of the most wealthy and desirable areas “human trafficking”?

    On the other hand there is an astonishing number of heretics who are calling out the elite’s hypocrisy. Is there a beginning revolution among the NYT’s readers?

    (As a European, I’m jealous. I have to fill out a 4 page form with intrusive questions to obtain even a vacation visa for 2 weeks.)

    • These poor undocumented immigrants (who would make the Vineyard even wealthier if they were allowed to stay!) are ignorant of #TheScience of climate change and don’t realize that evil Gov. De Santis has sent them to a location that will be under water by the turn of the next century. Clearly human trafficking at its worst. (I guess we are supposed to ignore their proven ability to relocate themselves… I suspect they would have been able to swim off long before the last of the island went under water.)

    • Bill: I hope that you’re not suggesting that migrants are seeking to do something illegal. https://www.nytimes.com/2022/09/06/us/politics/asylum-biden-administration.html says that it would be against the law for an asylum-seeker to work, at least until after a 150-day waiting period and some legal hurdles are surmounted. One thing that has been established, I think, is that admitting low-skill migrants reduces crime. Therefore, we certainly should not expect migrants to be committing the crime of working for cash payment, no reporting their income or paying taxes, etc.

  7. My gripe with this is my governor De S used “other people’s money” (taxpayer debt) to finance his campaign stunt. If he wants to stir the pot with a little migrant juice, he should use his campaign money that really is his to spend, and label it: “I’m Ron DeSantis and I approved this message.”

    Candidates can do things that governors should not. If he spends one minute not doing his elected duty, he should pay for it.

    • By the middle of next week, it’s all going to be turned 180 degrees and DeSantis and Abbott are going to be arrested and prosecuted. They poked the bear, smashed the hornet’s nest and they’re gonna get mauled, stung, broken, fucked, and tossed in jail.

    • Lol @Dick P. What, ticked off “MV and Boston Karens of all sexes will also prosecute US Government and Biden? What FL and TX states and their governors do is a small subset what US and Biden do. If FL or TX staff is illegal then US Fed staff is illegal in cube.

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