A few weeks ago, Florida Governor Ron DeSantis tricked 50 Venezuelan asylum-seekers in Texas into boarding a charter plane and flying to Martha’s Vineyard, Massachusetts. They were told they were going to Boston, where they would find a range of assistance, get legal aid, and be given jobs.
All of this was a lie.
Although the Martha’s Vineyard community was surprised by these new arrivals, they gave them a warm welcome. Hundreds of individuals, several churches, shelters, and several aid groups scrambled to help the asylum seekers.
At around the same time, Texas Governor Abbott chartered two buses of asylum seekers to arrive at Vice President Kamala Harris’ residence. Over the past several weeks Abbot has sent more than 5,000 migrants to Washington, D.C. and New York City in an effort to punish these cities for their immigrant-friendly politics.
At IRIS, we believe newcomers should be welcomed to this country. Venezuelans, like all migrants fleeing persecution and poverty, should be treated with compassion and respect. They should be given an opportunity to apply for asylum.
“I am proud to say that most communities in this country would welcome a planeload of migrants with open arms,” said Chris George, Executive Director of IRIS. “If they came here, we would find places for them to live, help them get settled, and treat them like human beings instead of pawns in a cruel political game.”
Every person deserves an opportunity to feel safe. Take action— tell your national and state elected leaders to welcome people seeking protection and safety.
Photo © Ray Ewing/Vineyard Gazette