Lawmakers Supporting Martha’s Vineyard Migrants Say They Faced Threats
- Two lawmakers said they received death threats for supporting immigrants flying to Martha’s Vineyard.
- “You should look at my inbox now and see how ugly it is,” said Rep. Dylan Fernandez of Massachusetts.
- Last week, Florida Gov. DeSantis planned to move 50 migrants by air to Martha’s Vineyard.
Two Democratic Massachusetts lawmakers representing Martha’s Vineyard said they had received death threats for their support of immigrants flown to the coastal enclave by Republican Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis.
State Rep. Dylan Fernandes and State Sen. Julian Cyr said about 50 Venezuelans were brought to Martha’s Vineyard from Texas unannounced last week. Immigrants received threats after offering aid.
“You should look at my inbox now and see how ugly it is,” Fernandez Tell WGBH’s Greater Boston On Tuesday, it added that Massachusetts State Police had been notified of the situation.
“My poor employee had to listen to voicemails, we had to issue death threats to state troopers, you know, I keep getting stuff,” he said.
The lawmaker said the hateful messages he received illustrate “the nature of what we are in this country, where treating human beings with dignity is a matter of debate.”
“I mean, it blows my mind that anyone could be so depraved that it’s an acceptable thing to do — to use women and children as political pawns,” Fernandez said.
Searle is Quoted by Axios Said he was embracing the backlash he had received for advocating for immigration “in his stride”.
According to Axios, Cyr said: “I try to continue to focus on my constituents to respond to ensure that these Venezuelan immigrants are treated with dignity and respect.”
On Wednesday, a spokesperson for the state senator told Insider she was aware of at least one death threat against Cyr.
Last week, DeSantis sparked a storm of criticism by sending migrants to Martha’s Vineyard on two charter flights, with immigration lawyers calling it a “shameful political stunt.”
On Tuesday, a group of immigrants filed a federal class-action lawsuit against DeSantis and other state officials, alleging they carried out a “scheme to defraud vulnerable immigrants to advance politically motivated efforts.”
Lawyers representing the majority of immigrants are calling on state and federal prosecutors to open criminal investigations into the situation.
The migrants have since been resettled to a military base in Cape Cod, Massachusetts.
Fernandez told WGBH’s Greater Boston area that the threats he faced were “insignificant compared to what these guys are going through.”
“Some people walked 60 days to get to the border, and then there was gang violence, some people were robbed, some people were physically injured,” the lawmaker said. “Don’t worry about my voicemail — what matters is what these people are going through. unbelievable predicament.”
“Once they finally got here after all of this, they weren’t respected by humans, they were lied about and transported away and used,” he said. “We’re going to treat people like humans here.”