Thu. Oct 6th, 2022

Martha’s Vineyard merchant says there’s a ‘process’ for coming to America, ‘follow that’

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OAK BLUFFS, Mass. – At least one person on this oasis of leftist elites blames federal officials for the illegal immigration crisis that thrust Martha’s Vineyard into the national spotlight. 

Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis sent 50 migrants by plane Wednesday to the Massachusetts island, which boasts one of the wealthiest and most hard-left voting blocs in the nation.  

“I think it was a political stunt,” Paul Sinclair of Rhode Island told Fox News Digital on Saturday, as he sold t-shirts and surf gear during a street festival on Circuit Avenue in Oak Bluffs, one of the commercial hubs of Martha’s Vineyard. 

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“But like any problem if you want to fix a problem make it visible. And I think (the problem) was made visible.” 

The phrase “political stunt” has been used on the island and elsewhere in leftist political circles to criticize DeSantis.  

Paul Sinclair, a Martha Vineyard vendor from Rhode Island, told Fox News Digital he hopes the arrival of 50 migrants on the resort island on Wednesday, Sept. 14, brings attention to the need to follow the legal immigration process. 

Paul Sinclair, a Martha Vineyard vendor from Rhode Island, told Fox News Digital he hopes the arrival of 50 migrants on the resort island on Wednesday, Sept. 14, brings attention to the need to follow the legal immigration process. 
(Fox News)

Sinclair saw the “stunt” as a way to make voters in the northeast pay attention to the burden faced daily by small border communities in the American southwest.  

“In terms of coming (to America), I have no issue with that,” said Sinclair. “But there is a process. There is a path you should follow. Follow that. Document it, the process and procedure for coming over.”  

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Martha’s Vineyard is located just south of Cape Cod, about 2,200 miles northeast of the closest border crossing with Mexico.  

The island, comprised of six different wealthy coastal towns, is about as far removed from the border physically and politically from any location in the lower 48 states.  

Edgartown is a former whaling port that's become an exclusive enclave of rustic old New England homes and inns, including the Chappaquiddick House, overlooking the ocean. Chappaquiddick is a part of Edgartown. 

Edgartown is a former whaling port that’s become an exclusive enclave of rustic old New England homes and inns, including the Chappaquiddick House, overlooking the ocean. Chappaquiddick is a part of Edgartown. 
(Kerry J. Byrne/Fox News Digital)

The migrants, mostly from Venezuela, were taken to St. Andrew’s Episcopal Church in exclusive Edgartown, where church members rallied to find shelter and food for the unexpected newcomers for two nights.  

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Voters in Martha’s Vineyard’s six communities chose Biden and his policies nearly 4 to 1 over Trump in the 2020 election.  

Martha's Vineyard, MA - September 15: Students from the Marthas Vineyard Regional High School AP Spanish class help deliver food to St Andrews Episcopal Church. Two planes of migrants from Venezuela arrived suddenly Wednesday night on Martha's Vineyard. The students served as translators for the migrants.

Martha’s Vineyard, MA – September 15: Students from the Marthas Vineyard Regional High School AP Spanish class help deliver food to St Andrews Episcopal Church. Two planes of migrants from Venezuela arrived suddenly Wednesday night on Martha’s Vineyard. The students served as translators for the migrants.
(Photo by Jonathan Wiggs/The Boston Globe via Getty Image)

But when migrants arrived on their island this week they were quickly shipped by bus and ferry to a military base on Cape Cod, on the Massachusetts mainland, about 44 hours after arriving. 

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Massachusetts Gov. Charlie Baker called up National Guard forces to help relocate the migrants to the mainland, while islanders cited a lack of resources on the island. 

Many lamented the “housing crisis” on Martha’s Vineyard, even though more than half the homes on the island are secondary or vacation homes and most of their owners have left for the season.

“The (islanders) could have done a little more,” said Sinclair, who later revealed he was originally from Texas.

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“But just like most things, it’s dump it over the fence I guess and make it somebody else’s problem.” 



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