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The community of Martha's Vineyard opened shelter beds on Wednesday to accommodate an unexpected influx of migrants flown to the island by Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis. Photo courtesy of Massachusetts State Rep. Dylan Fernandes/<a href="https://www.facebook.com/RepDylanFernandes/posts/pfbid02ZXjCDFfTdooMibCkrGe3snuHB9ehLwjgDEiZ5LZU9BLia4DKxV7r6A3v81yvAjPxl?__cft__[0]=AZX4D-TDtaQaxIka19GEFbRGbHzYUMG-p5o1V5Co7yEEoFR1cJcRikvCrLbll6WhFYlx_FRyqu9DTX0j94p1fdLLHVlunuv6d5Pj53xOgDI6lMoCrT3H-R1N09P-RS9f8w4RfDEinCsBq7rGn7hPE27T1HxtPYECOctQ5_9c8fOlnA&amp;__tn__=%2CO%2CP-R">Facebook</a>

The community of Martha’s Vineyard opened shelter beds on Wednesday to accommodate an unexpected influx of migrants flown to the island by Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis. Photo courtesy of Massachusetts State Rep. Dylan Fernandes/Facebook

Sept. 15 (UPI) — Some 50 migrants were unexpectedly flown from to Massachusetts’ Martha’s Vineyard on Wednesday, local officials and authorities said as they rushed to open shelters to combat the unfolding humanitarian situation.

State Rep. Dylan Fernandes who represents Martha’s Vineyard said the migrants had arrived at the Massachusetts island aboard chartered flights with many unsure of where they were.

“They say the were told they would be given housing and jobs,” he said in a statement. “Some were told they were going to New York. Islanders were given no notice but are coming together as a community to support them.”

Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis confirmed in a statement to CNN that his state had chartered the two planes to ship the migrants to the Democrat-led state under his relocation program “to transport illegal immigrants to sanctuary destinations.”

The Republican governor, who is a potential presidential candidate, has repeatedly blamed irregular immigration in his state on the Biden administration’s policies, and has previously vowed to send migrants to the president’s home state of Delaware as well as Martha’s Vineyard, saying if he did “the border would be secure the next day.”

“States like Massachusetts, New York and California will better facilitate the care of these individuals who they have invited into our country by incentivizing illegal immigration through their designation as ‘sanctuary states’ and support of the Biden administration’s open border policies,” he said in the statement Wednesday.

UPI has contacted DeSantis’ office for comment.

The emergency management association for Dukes County, which covers Martha’s Vineyard, issued a call to action on Wednesday in search of volunteers “due to an unexpected ongoing urgent humanitarian situation.”

It said it was opening emergency shelters to accommodate the migrants on the island while asking people to volunteer in clinical and non-clinical roles.

Fernandes said the community “jumped into action” and all who have arrived have been given a bed, food, water and healthcare.

“We will welcome every person sent here and make sure they are treated with dignity and respect all people deserve,” the Democrat said, stating the migrants were not met with chaos but compassion.

“I cannot properly express how disgusted I am with the people who plotted this. It is beyond inhumane to secretly ship people across the country on a lie to try to create chaos to gain political points,” he said. “It is evil.”

UPI has contacted Massachusetts Gov. Charlie Baker for comment.

The forced relocation by DeSantis follows Texas’ Republican governor, Greg Abbott, having bussed migrants from his state to New York City, Washington D.C., and, most recently, Chicago.

On Wednesday, Illinois Gov. JB Pritzker announced an emergency disaster proclamation and activated 75 members of the state National Guard to support asylum seekers who have been arriving near daily in the Windy City from Texas.

“Let me be clear: While other states may be treating these vulnerable families as pawns, here in Illinois, we are treating them has people,” Pritzker, a Democrat, said in a statement.

Since Aug. 31, Texas has been transporting migrants to Illinois without advanced notice by buss. The migrants have been dropped off at Chicago’s downtown Unions Station, despite the state and city asking Abbott to take them to welcome centers.

Like DeSantis, Abbott has repeatedly chastised Biden and his administration over its immigration policies.

Florida Democratic Party Chair Manny Diaz called the move by DeSantis “a new low,” accusing him of putting human lives at risk with his political stunt.

“There is nothing that DeSantis won’t do, and nobody that he won’t hurt, in order to score political points,” he said in a statement. “He took dozens of families and children, reportedly from Venezuela and Colombia, away from everyone that they know, flew them across the country and left them by the side of the road without shelter or direction — all in order to score political points.

“Ron DeSantis is playing games with the lives of people who came here in search of freedom and opportunity in order to boost his campaign fundraising.”





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