STORY: When two aircraft full of Latin American migrants landed in the wealthy, liberal Massachusetts enclave of Martha’s Vineyard this week, Lisa Belcastro and her community leapt into action.
"I can't even express to you how many people have offered help, and translating, and food, and clothing, and water. And it is overwhelming.”
Belcastro is a volunteer emergency shelter coordinator here. The migrants, many of them asylum-seekers from Venezuela, were sent by Florida’s Republican governor as part of a campaign aimed at shifting the immigration burden to Democratic areas.
Some of the migrants said they were mislead into boarding the jets.
"They're here. They came to work. And every one of them has asked when they're starting their job. They were promised jobs, and they were promised immigration papers.”
30 year old Venezuelan Eliomar Aguero was one of those people who said they were duped about their destination:
"They treated me very well. Thank God…We didn't know we were coming here (to Martha's Vineyard). We were not aware.”
Florida Governor Ron DeSantis, who is up for re-election in November and seen as a possible presidential contender in 2024, took credit for the two flights - that carried around 50 migrants to the island.
In recent weeks, Texas and Arizona have sent busloads of migrants to the Democratic-run cities of New York, Chicago and Washington.
White House Press Secretary Karine Jean-Pierre on Thursday said Republican governors were using migrants as "political pawns."
Meanwhile, locals have rallied to assist the migrants… offering aid however they can:
Melanie: “I'm working with a local dentist. We're donating our time to assess the folks that have the most acute dental problems and get them out of pain so they can move on with their lives…Human kindness. People need help. And if we're in an opportunity to help them, then why not?”
Richard Reinhardsen, Salvation Army: "We initially provided some snacks, foods, water. We can provide additional food resources if they're needed. But we... and also water. We can appraise we can provide emotional, spiritual care if that's needed.”
The state of Massachusetts transported the migrants off the wealthy island as of Friday morning, with Republican Governor Charlie Baker saying the migrants would be housed temporarily at a Cape Cod military base, organized by state emergency officials.