Martha’s Vineyard’s receiving 50 visitors in September catapulted it into a leading news story.
Martha’s Vineyard, aka “the Vineyard,” is a 96-square mile island in the Atlantic Ocean seven miles from Cape Cod, Mass., which is only accessible by ferry or planes. Approximately 56%, or 8,187, of the 14,621 houses, are only occupied seasonally, meaning hundreds of rooms are available every September as are the hotel rooms that house many of the 80,000 summer tourists.
The remoteness — and controls on development — have contributed to the desirability of the lifestyle that has led to an average house cost of $1,035,000. The imbalance of the wealth of the summer residents compared to the year-round residents, was exacerbated by the flexibility of working remotely during COVID, as was discussed in my article “Pre-covid, Covid and Post-Covid,” in the Sept. 18 Voices section of the News-Press.
Three events are illustrative of the attitudes on the island:
— On the night of July 18, 1969, after U.S. Sen. Edward “Ted” Kennedy, D-Mass., drove off a bridge near the island town of Chappaquiddick, he walked away leaving his passenger, Mary Jo Kopechne, trapped in the underwater car. He was not prosecuted.
— Director Steven Spielberg shot the 1975 movie “Jaws” on Martha’s Vineyard, where he showed the authorities on the fictional Amity Island trying to deny a problem that might negatively impact tourism.
— In 1999, John Kennedy, the son of President John F. Kennedy, a Democrat, crashed his plane while flying to the island, killing himself and his wife.
Mr. Spielberg showed the importance of tourism, and the Kennedys, the importance of being a Democrat. Indeed, 80% of the island’s residents voted for President Joe Biden, and President Barack Obama, a Democrat, built a mansion that is one of the 8,187 that are only seasonably occupied.
As with New York and San Francisco, the Democratic influence caused Martha’s Vineyard to declare itself a “sanctuary place,” which means places that do not deport illegal migrants. Until recently, this declaration was unfulfilled. It was a party without guests. Why?
The answer may have been provided by Vice President Kamala Harris, a Democrat and the U.S.’s “border czar,” when she said “We have a secure border in that it is a priority for any nation, including ours and our administration.” At first blush, this indicates that her policy is based on the song “Wishin’ and Hopin’ ” as under her administration there have been some 4.4 million border crossers. What did she mean?
The border czar appears to have meant that the “secure border” was the one protecting Martha’s Vineyard, her residence and other Democratic cities, as discussed in my News-Press article “Sanctuary Cities ‘Walking the Walk’?” (Sept. 25 Voices section).
When Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis ended his “party with no guests” by offering 50 migrants a free flight to the sanctuary island in September, did the Vineyard welcome them?
Massachusetts state Rep. Dylan Fernandes, Democrat, said, Gov. DeSantis’ actions were “fraud, kidnapping, deprivation of liberty and human trafficking” — accusations he did not level at our border czar for her administration encouraging people living in Central America to make, in the words of Carlos Muniz, a “grueling journey,” about which Dela Haz said “travelers die from heart attacks, drowning and snake bites.”
The island’s residents, responded to the threat to their attitudes by “pretending” to be caring while raising a series of phantom reasons why the migrants could not stay in their sanctuary place, including:
— They had not been given any notice while pretending that other places are given notice by the Feds of the midnight arrivals of millions of other border-crossers.
— The island’s 17,000 residents did not have the resources to handle 50 migrants while pretending that Eagle Pass, Texas, a town of 26,000, had the resources to handle the 375,000 migrants the Feds have sent there.
— According to the residents, there was no housing available. Never mind the 8,187 houses that were vacant as summer ends and hotel rooms that housed 80,000 tourists over the course of the summer season.
— There were no employment opportunities. Never mind that Martha’s Vineyard Newspapers listed 50 unskilled jobs, with the Stop & Shop even offering housing.
How did the 125 national guards on the island called compare to the number Speaker Nancy Pelosi called on Jan. 6? OK, that’s a trick question as the speaker did not call for any. However, calling 125 for the 50 migrants is the equivalent of Eagles Pass needing 937,500 guards.
After just 44 hours on the island, the migrants were flown to a national guard base where they were given multiple things denied our veterans, such as food, clothing, housing, money, cell phones, and more as state Sen. Julian Cyr, a Democrat, said, “We are deploying medical care, legal services and social services: Everyone is exhausted.”
Exhausted from 50 nonviolent migrants?
Telemundo’s Cristina Londono Rooney said, “They (migrants) are actually thanking him (Gov. DeSantis) for having brought them to Martha’s Vineyard.”
How are the free legal services being used?
To sue Gov. DeSantis, alleging that he falsely told them they would receive the very benefits they are now receiving. Why sue?
The election season could explain the litigation, the Border Czar’s claiming the border is “secure” and the liberal media blaming a Republican governor for sending just 50 border crossers.
Post-election the lawsuit and headlines will follow the lyrics “Let the past just fade away, why get lost in yesterday, the important thing is here and now,” from the song “How Important Can It Be” by Joni James.
For Martha’s Vineyard, the “here and now” will mean secure borders while declaring itself a sanctuary place, without any migrants, and the return of the Democrats, including their former presidents, and other tourists.
Brent E. Zepke is an attorney, arbitrator and author who lives in Santa Barbara. His website is OneheartTwoLivescom.wordpress.com. Formerly, he taught law and business at six universities and numerous professional conferences. He is the author of six books: “One Heart-Two Lives,” “Legal Guide to Human Resources,” “Business Statistics,” “Labor Law,” “Products and the Consumer” and “Law for Non-Lawyers.”