While some Democrats are blasting Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis for sending migrants to Martha’s Vineyard, a county official said less than a year ago that he would “love” to see the area become a home for immigrants.
Keith Chatinover, a progressive county commissioner for Dukes County, Mass., where Martha’s Vineyard is located, made the statement in response to Sen. Ted Cruz, R-Texas, who was pushing a bill for Democrat-led areas like Martha’s Vineyard to become ports of entry for processing migrants coming in from the southern border.
“I would love Martha’s Vineyard to become a haven for new immigrants to this country, but Senator Cruz has no idea what he’s talking about regarding a ‘border crisis,'” Chatinover told the MVTimes in October 2021.
Now that migrants have arrived in Martha’s Vineyard, not everyone there is so happy about it.
Democratic State Rep. Dylan Fernandes slammed DeSantis, telling MVTimes that he thinks it is “incredibly inhumane that an individual would use human beings — men, women and children” as “political pawns.”
Fernandes said that some migrants will likely need to be moved to an “off-Island location” due to limited housing availability at Martha’s Vineyard.
Chatinover, meanwhile, remained consistent with his earlier position on welcoming migrants, but he disagreed with how DeSantis went about sending them.
“Again, Vineyarders support refugee resettlement—we just can’t adequately help them when given no advance notice,” he tweeted Wednesday, adding that using the chaos of the situation “to prove a point” was “a blatant disregard” for human rights.
DeSantis press secretary Bryan Griffin criticized the reaction from the left, saying their anger is misplaced.
“The left’s outrage not being directed at the border policies incentivizing human smuggling and dangerous treks across Central America — but at chartered flights to their own doorstep — speaks volumes,” he said.