Good morning, and greetings from Massachusetts.
We joined something called the "Union" on February 6, 1788...and apparently we have left it this week. This Commonwealth is so vastly different from the other 49 states that we simply cannot be a part of this anymore.
It's a single issue. A Governor of another state decided to get rid of his problems by exporting them. And not to anyplace that could help them - he thought he'd be creative and essentially do a drive-by and dump his "refuse" in the middle of a high-profile tourist destination in an attempt to embarrass us.
It failed spectacularly.
In a matter of hours, the people from Venezuela were given shelter, food, the children got toys and other comfort items, and even spiritual and legal guidance, all magically appearing as if we remembered lessons from two and a half centuries ago when our forebears developed the "minuteman" rapid-response system here.
Governor Baker (D-MA, let's stop pretending) has stepped up to do the right thing.
While it means another move for the folks that have arrived, they are going somewhere that is better suited to care for them and help them move towards the things they were seeking in the first place.
BARNSTABLE — Today, the Baker-Polito Administration announced new shelter and humanitarian supports at Joint Base Cape Cod (JBCC) for the approximately 50 migrants who arrived in Martha’s Vineyard this week. The Massachusetts Emergency Management Agency (MEMA) is coordinating efforts among state and local officials to ensure access to food, shelter and essential services for these men, women and children. Governor Charlie Baker also plans to activate up to 125 members of the Massachusetts National Guard as part of this relief effort.
Shortly after the arrival of these individuals, Martha’s Vineyard residents joined with local and state officials to create temporary shelter and provide necessities in a moment of urgent need. However, the island communities are not equipped to provide sustainable accommodation, and state officials developed a plan to deliver a comprehensive humanitarian response. On Friday, September 16, the Commonwealth will offer transportation to a new temporary shelter on JBCC. This move will be voluntary.
JBCC is a facility already designated by MEMA as an emergency shelter in Barnstable County, and its existing infrastructure provides a safe temporary accommodation appropriate for the specific needs of families and individuals. Additionally, the facility can provide dedicated space for access to legal services and other essential services such as basic healthcare. JBCC has historically housed and cared for displaced individuals, including Louisiana residents fleeing the impact of Hurricane Katrina, as well as an alternative care medical site for Massachusetts residents during the COVID-19 pandemic.
In addition to MEMA, the robust response of state and local agencies includes the Executive Office of Health and Human Services, the Executive Office of Public Safety and Security, the Executive Office of Housing and Economic Development, the Massachusetts National Guard, the Massachusetts State Police, Dukes County and Barnstable County, as well as state, local and federal elected officials.
“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,” said Governor Charlie Baker. “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 Baker-Polito Administration has been in close contact with providers and local officials on the ground in Martha’s Vineyard throughout this process,” said Lt. Governor Karyn Polito. “We will continue to work with officials at all levels of government to make sure everyone has access to the appropriate resources, including shelter.”
It is not national policy, but we can all quote the poem...."Give me your tired, your poor,
Your huddled masses yearning to breathe free,
The wretched refuse of your teeming shore.
Send these, the homeless, tempest-tost to me,
I lift my lamp beside the golden door!"
The United States were many things to many people in its prime. Hope, support, opportunity, safety, refuge. The republicans have removed every single one of these things and turned them into a political football.
Some states, and some cities in this Commonwealth, have declared themselves a "sanctuary" in the hopes of alleviating some of that misery. The fascist governor of Florida couldn't even get that right - none of them are on Martha's Vineyard. But it mattered little when push came to shove.
Smugly now, Massachusetts is better than your pathetic excuse for a state, Mr. DeSantis. You may hide behind your bible all you want and criticize all us "atheist liberals", but at the end of the day, I know where I stand. Do you?
17 If anyone has material possessions and sees a brother or sister in need but has no pity on them, how can the love of God be in that person?
18 Dear children, let us not love with words or speech but with actions and in truth.
1 John 3:17-18