Father Bill’s helps migrants airlifted to Vineyard

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South Shore-based Father Bill’s & Mainspring is joining other organizations to help the 48 migrants, including four families, who are being housed at Joint Base Cape Cod after unexpectedly ending up on Martha’s Vineyard.

Alisa Magnotta, managing director of Housing Assistance Corp. in Hyannis, said its staff will work with Father Bill’s & MainSpring to help determine next steps regarding housing assistance and permanent housing options. Father Bill’s runs a homeless shelter in Quincy.

Punish sanctuary states, derail asylum:Legal issues swirl around DeSantis’ migrant relocation effort

Magnotta’s organization will raise money to relocate people and find accommodation as well as money for basic necessities, she said. The agency is also looking for Spanish-speaking volunteers. People can sign up to help at [email protected]

Permanent housing options can be developed once the state assesses families’ individual needs, said John Yazwinski, chief executive and president of Father Bill’s. Migrants may have family in Massachusetts or other parts of the United States, he said.

Father Bill’s is a non-profit organization that offers programs that provide emergency and permanent housing and help people gain skills, jobs, housing and services.

Yazwinski remembers helping those displaced on the ground during Hurricane Katrina and the earthquakes in Haiti and sending them to other areas where they felt supported.

“Right now we’re trying to listen to them and understand what they need,” he said. “Just because they’re from another country doesn’t mean they don’t have ties to people in Massachusetts or other parts of the country.”

At Joint Base Cape Cod, migrants will live in dormitory-style accommodations. Emergency management officials said there were spaces for singles and families and that families would stay together.

In addition to having a place to sleep, they will receive clothing, toiletries and food. They will have access to legal and healthcare services, as well as mental health and crisis counselling. Interpreters will be present to facilitate communication.

EDGARTOWN 16/09/22 Immigrants receive farewell hugs before leaving St. Andrews in Edgartown on Friday morning.

The Massachusetts Emergency Management Agency works with organizations to provide these services.

Gov. Charlie Baker announced on Sunday that he has activated up to 125 members of the Massachusetts National Guard to assist the Massachusetts Emergency Management Agency.

The Venezuelans were flown to Martha’s Vineyard on Wednesday and dropped off at the airport without notice. Florida Governor Ron DeSantis, who is running for re-election and is expected to run for president in 2024, said he wants to move migrants to liberal-leaning areas as part of an effort to put pressure on President Joe Biden on US-Mexico border issues.

The migrants were picked up in Texas after crossing the border. They were housed in a church on the vineyard and have since voluntarily moved to Joint Base Cape Cod.

DeSantis used Florida state budget money to pay for the flights.

More than 75% of Venezuelans live in extreme poverty, according to reports. The once prosperous OPEC nation has been experiencing an economic slump for years, pushing residents of the northern United States to seek work.

In the first 10 months of fiscal year 2022, Border Patrol encountered or apprehended more than 130,000 Venezuelan nationals, compared to more than 50,000 in fiscal year 2021.

Meanwhile, lawyers explore legal remedies for Venezuelan migrants.

The Lawyers for Civil Rights group says it represents more than 30 of the 48 migrants and is calling for a criminal investigation into what it described as a shameful political stunt, WCVB reported.

In letters to U.S. Attorney Rachael Rollins and Massachusetts Attorney General Maura Healey, Lawyers for Civil Rights said their clients were “counseled into boarding planes and crossing state lines under false pretences” and that it was “not until the flight was in full flight that they were informed that they would be flown to Martha’s Vineyard rather than Boston.”

U.S. Representative Jim McGovern, D-Mass., said the ordeal could be considered human trafficking.

“These are major violations of federal law that should be investigated,” McGovern said in a statement.

What the officials say:Can Martha’s Vineyard and Nantucket Prepare for More Migrants?

A GoFundMe fundraising campaign on Martha’s Vineyard ended on Friday after raising $43,191 to help them.

The people:Venezuelan migrants share their stories before leaving Martha’s Vineyard. what they said

The reaction:Politicians in Massachusetts, Florida and Texas react to migrants airlifted to Martha’s Vineyard

Let’s recap what we knew on Friday:Migrants leave Martha’s Vineyard and DeSantis hinted at leak to donors

A Cape Cod resident shares her story:Venezuelans emigrate to the United States and now to Martha’s Vineyard: “Out of desperation”

A view from Texas:El Paso is struggling to keep up with Venezuelan migrants: 5 key things to know

A political gesture:Why is Florida Governor Ron DeSantis sending migrants to Martha’s Vineyard?

Read more about what the Governor of Florida says:Governor Ron DeSantis relishes the left’s response to Florida-funded flights to Martha’s Vineyard

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