Residents of Martha's Vineyard decided to "jump into action" to help migrants who Florida Republican Governor Ron DeSantis shipped off to Massachusetts without letting them know where they were going or alerting his fellow Republican Governor Charlie Baker of his political stunt.
About 50 migrants—including families with young children—arrived on two planes without notice on Wednesday, September 14. According to reports, the migrants were shipped off from Texas after being told they were headed to Boston, where they expected to receive expedited work permits.
However, no one on Martha's Vineyard—a longtime New England summer colony located just south of Cape Cod—had any advance notice the migrants would be arriving.
But that didn't stop island residents from rushing to help the newcomers, according to Dylan Fernandes, a Democratic state Representative who represents Martha's Vineyard, the Elizabeth Islands, parts of Falmouth and Nantucket.
Writing on Twitter, Fernandes said islanders put together beds, fed people, provided a "play area" for young children and offered healthcare and support.
Fernandes praised Martha's Vineyard as a "community that comes together to support immigrants."
So impassioned was the support for the migrants officials in Edgartown, Massachusetts had to post on social media they did not need more donations, according to one CNN report.
Edgartown town administrator James Hagerty celebrated these efforts, calling them "a testament to the community of the island, and it’s a testament to the citizens of Edgartown, it’s a testament to everything that’s going on now."
Many also took to social media to praise a community that stepped up to help those in need and criticized DeSantis and Republicans for doing their xenophobia and lack of basic humn decency.
Many accused DeSantis of performing a stunt to appeal to a White nationalist base prominent in the Republican Party.
DeSantis made clear he intends to use “every penny” of the $12 million his state budgeted to relocate migrants via bus and plane to liberal states he feels are not addressing immigration concerns at the nation's southern border.
DeSantis previously complained many migrants who cross the border into Texas end up in Florida. He stated Florida government employees are stationed in Texas to "profile" any migrants who might be headed to Florida.
The Florida Republican—a favorite to run for the GOP presidential nomination in 2024—has opened the door to a "collaboration" of sorts with Texas Republican Governor Greg Abbott, who previously accused the Biden administration of ignoring a supposed "surge of migrants" who came to the border to request asylum.