EDGARTOWN, Massachusetts (AP) — As the chief executive of Martha’s Vineyard Community Services looks outside as he finishes work, he sees 48 strangers with luggage, backpacks, and red folders containing the organization’s brochures. I saw him in his office.
Venezuelan migrants who were flown from San Antonio to the wealthy Massachusetts island on Wednesday by Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis said they were told they were going to Boston.
DeSantis followed the tactics of fellow Republican and Texas Governor Greg Abbott by surprising Democratic strongholds with mass immigration and providing little to no information.
“They said they would have jobs and they would have housing,” said Elizabeth Forcarelli, who heads Martha’s Vineyard Community Services, describing the scramble for shelter as a “huge challenge”.
“They had no idea where they were going or where they were,” said Julio Henriquez, a lawyer who met with some of the migrants.
Two flights to Martha’s Vineyard stopped at the Florida Panhandle, Henriquez said. While on board, the emigrants received brochures and maps of Massachusetts.
Henriquez said the unsigned letter tells immigrants to notify the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Service of any change of address, but in reality the U.S. Immigration and Customs Service is responsible for tracking immigrants. . “This is terrible advice,” he said.
Many immigrants have appointments with ICE in San Antonio on Monday. In cities such as Philadelphia and Washington, some ordered him to appear at immigration within two weeks to three months.
Henriquez said U.S. officials told immigration attorneys that the required check-ins would be postponed. Homeland Security officials did not immediately respond to a request for comment on Friday.
In San Antonio, Latina women approached migrants at municipal shelters, took refuge in the nearby La Quinta Inn, and visited them daily with meals and gift cards, Henriquez said. She promised her a job and her three-month residency in Washington, New York, Philadelphia, and Boston.
The woman, who introduced herself as Perla to the immigrant, promised jobs, housing and help with immigration litigation, said Oren Sellström, a civil rights attorney who offered free consultations.
The city of San Antonio was unaware of the flight, deputy mayor Maria Villagomez said.
Pedro Luis Torrelaba, 36, said he was promised a job, food and housing. He was going to New York.
“I’m not a victim,” he said Friday, thanking Martha’s Vineyard residents for their hospitality. “I simply feel misunderstood because they lied and it was wasted.”
Migrants were voluntarily moving to a military base in nearby Cape Cod on Friday. Republican Gov. Charlie Baker said he would mobilize up to 125 National Guard soldiers to support the Massachusetts Emergency Management Agency.
DeSantis said Friday that most immigrants intend to come to Florida and that the trip to Martha’s Vineyard is voluntary. rice field.
Florida’s governor has defended his acceptance of immigrants in Texas and vowed to continue shipping to immigrant-friendly “sanctuary” jurisdictions.
“In our view, it has to be addressed at the source. sanctuary,” he said.
Texas has bused about 8,000 immigrants to Washington since April, including more than 100 heading to the home of Vice President Kamala Harris on Thursday. It also operates about 2,200 buses to New York and about 300 buses to Chicago.
Arizona has bussed more than 1,800 immigrants to Washington since May, but has kept receiving officials informed of its plans. The city of El Paso, Texas has sent at least her 1,135 immigrants to New York on her 28 buses since Aug. 23, sharing passenger manifests and other information, as does Arizona.
A 2-year-old girl arriving in New York from Texas last week was hospitalized for dehydration, and a pregnant woman on the same bus suffered severe pain, supporters and city officials said.
Volunteer groups often wait for hours in designated spaces at Manhattan’s Port of Authority Bus Terminal for buses arriving from Texas. They look to tipsters for help.
“This is a problem because we don’t know when the buses will come, how many buses will come, whether the people on these buses have medical conditions that require help, whether they need a wheelchair. New York City Mayor’s Office of Immigration: “I’d like to at least know that so people can do their best when they arrive.”
Castro said the contractor Texas hired to put migrants on buses signed a contract barring them from speaking to officials in New York.
Some fathers arrived in New York while their spouses and children were being sent to Washington, said Ilze Thielmann, volunteer director for TLC NYC, a group working to reunite them. .
Illinois Democratic Gov. JB Pritzker said his administration has reached out to Texas but has not received any information. The first immigrant he arrived at Union Station in Chicago from Texas on August 31st.
Abbott’s office has dismissed complaints of lack of coordination and continued city speculation about the governor’s next move to fan opposition to President Joe Biden’s border policies.
“These Democratic hypocrites should call on President Biden to do the job and secure the border instead of complaining about delivering on the sanctuary city promise. is.”
Arizona has been working since May through the Border Regional Center, which operates a low-income clinic in Yuma. A few days a week, buses head east from the clinic in suburban Summerton.
Healthcare provider Amanda Aguirre told staff of Republican Gov. Doug Ducey that she would not participate without close coordination. Aguirre said it has established an information-sharing protocol with Carecen, a non-profit organization.
“I would never allow people to be thrown into the street because here in Yuma we try to prevent them from being thrown into the street,” Aguirre said.
Some immigrants seem unaffected by the turmoil.
Cliver Rodriguez of Venezuela said he was grateful for the free transportation from Texas to New York in search of work.
“At least they helped me get here, so I don’t have any opinions,” Rodriguez, 24, said as he exited the shelter.
Salomon was reported from Miami and Torrens from New York. Anthony Izaguirre, Associated Press writer from Tallahassee, Fla. Elliot Spagat of Somerton, Arizona. Jake Breiberg of Dallas. Morgan Lee of Santa Fe, New Mexico. and Paul Weber of Austin, Texas contributed to this report.