Migrants flown to Massachusetts say they were misled

STORY: Eliomar Aguero who's a migrant from Venezuela said he didn't know he was going to be sent there.

"I wanted to live in Washington, but it didn't work out the way I wanted," he said. "God put me here for a reason. We're going to fly to Boston."

Lisa Belcastro who volunteers for an emergency shelter said it's been a massive community effort to look after the new arrivals.

"So, we... we have some Venezuelan refugees, who have... they arrived on Martha's Vineyard. No one knew they were coming. And so there has been a massive community effort to provide them with housing and care and any... any legal advice that we can... we can give them."

The two flights on Wednesday carried about 50 migrants, mostly Venezuelans, a Martha's Vineyard Airport official said.

Florida Governor Ron DeSantis, who is up for re-election in November and seen as a possible presidential contender in 2024, took credit for the two flights, which originated in San Antonio, Texas, and stopped in Florida on the way to Martha's Vineyard.

The White House and residents of the vacation enclave called it a "political stunt," as DeSantis joins Republican governors from Texas and Arizona in sending migrants north. The governors have sought to highlight the two parties' differences on immigration policy and shift the burden of caring for immigrants to Democratic areas.

One Venezuelan migrant who arrived at Martha's Vineyard identified himself as Luis, 27, and said he and nine relatives were promised a flight to Massachusetts, along with shelter, support for 90 days, help with work permits and English lessons. He said they were surprised when their flight landed on an island.

He said the promises came from a woman who gave her name as "Perla" who approached his family on the street outside a San Antonio shelter after they crossed from Mexico and U.S. border authorities released them with an immigration court date.

He said the woman, who also put them up in a hotel, did not provide a last name or any affiliation, but asked them to sign a liability waiver.

"We are scared," he said, adding he and others felt they were lied to. "I hope they give us help."

Residents of Martha's Vineyard rallied to aid the confused migrants and offered housing at St. Andrews Episcopal Church.

Martha's Vineyard is best known as a summer retreat populated mostly by affluent liberal Americans, including former President Barack Obama, a Democrat who owns a multimillion-dollar vacation home there.