The Times’ Incomplete Report on Four Illegals Who Stayed on Martha’s Vineyard

By David North on September 19, 2023

It was a natural for the Grey Lady: A happy-happy story a couple of months ago about four of the illegal aliens who were flown to Martha’s Vineyard by Florida Gov. DeSantis a year ago; at least four of the 49 passengers opted to stay on the island and, according to the New York Times, they have prospered.

The headline read: “How Migrants Flown to Martha’s Vineyard Came to Call It Home: Florida flew 49 migrants from Texas to the liberal enclave last year. Since then, a few of them have found work, friends and a new life on the wealthy island.”

It was an up-beat story, typical of the liberal media; it was illustrated by a photo of three of the illegals eating lunch (with an immigration lawyer) in a well-appointed kitchen.

The four migrants, members of a Venezuelan family, experienced the typical hardships on their long journey to the Texas border. They struggled through Panama’s Darien Gap wilderness and when they arrived near Eagle Pass, Texas, “Mr. Aguilar recalled seeing people in his group lose their footing and be swept away by the strong current of the Rio Grande. ‘It was so difficult seeing them sink to the bottom of the river,’ Mr. Aguilar said.”

Once on the other side of the river, they were involved in the Gov. DeSantis-inspired flight, with a stop in Florida, to Martha’s Vineyard, a flight that the Left viewed as “political theater”. Most of the 49 opted to take the ferry to the mainland, but not before experiencing a hurried but warm welcome from the island’s residents. For example:

  • The local Episcopal church that initially housed the migrants was aided by a lady, according to the Times, who rode to the church on a bicycle and gave the clergyman a check for $10,000; and
  • There was the utilization of island high school students, taking Spanish classes, as interpreters, something I had not encountered before and a precedent that could be used elsewhere.

Each of the four migrants chips in $1,000 a month to rent the two-bedroom house where they live. One of the migrants is working as a “landscaper” for an individual resident, perhaps a made-up job provided by a wealthy person. The others are doing construction work, which seems more plausible. There are relatively few working-class, year-round workers on this island and this must have helped the four from Venezuela.

Refugee families rarely pay $4,000 a month in rent, but these four do. An examination of a rental service listing on the internet shows that there are only a handful of properties on the island that are this inexpensive, and the four found one of them. I saw one listing for $100,000 a month. Average rentals throughout mainland Massachusetts run to less than half of the $4,000.

Reality Check. Why did the four do so well on Martha’s Vineyard? There are two reasons for this, one hinted at by the Times, and the other ignored.

The first is that the four all seem to be working illegally; the woman who had hired the landscaper said she did not want to be identified because her employee lacked a “work permit”. If all four lacked work permits and honored the lack of them, they would be destitute.

The second reason for the seeming prosperity relates to family composition. Four migrants in a family often consist of a working father, a stay-at-home mother, and two children. The Martha’s Vineyard family grouping consisted of four able-bodied, working adults, a remarkable exception to the rule.

It is not hard to prosper if everyone in the family works.

The Times opted not to notice this bit of reality.