Authorities in Massachusetts are moving the dozens of migrants who arrived earlier this week in Martha’s Vineyard to Cape Cod.
The office for Massachusetts Gov. Charlie Baker announced Friday that the state’s emergency management agency relocated the migrants to Joint Base Cape Cod. There, the state will provide shelter, food and other essential services, Baker said.
Baker also plans to activate 125 members of the state National Guard to assist.
“We are grateful to the providers, volunteers and local officials that stepped up on Martha’s Vineyard over the past few days to provide immediate services to these individuals,” Baker said in a statement. “Our Administration has been working across state government to develop a plan to ensure these individuals will have access to the services they need going forward, and Joint Base Cape Cod is well equipped to serve these needs.”
The migrants’ arrival in Martha’s Vineyard earlier this week was a surprise to local officials, who had no idea that they were coming. The immigrants, many of whom were from Venezuela, were surprised themselves, since they had been told they were being sent to Boston for work opportunities. They arrived on two separate planes that took off from San Antonio, Texas, and that were arranged and paid for by Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis.
Since Wednesday, state and local organizations have scrambled to assist the new arrivals, many of whom speak little to no English.
According to GBH, Joint Base Cape Cod’s southern portion has a small town usually reserved for housing soldiers and their families. It has provided humanitarian assistance in the past, including when residents from Louisiana stayed there after fleeing Hurricane Katrina in 2005.