“We saw some of the worst aspects of our policies last week, and with them came unacceptable hatred and vitriol.”

State Representative Dylan Fernandes spoke to media officials last week about a group of migrants who recently arrived at Martha’s Vineyard.

State Representative Dylan Fernandes was on his way home last Wednesday when he received a call that some 50 migrants had been taken to Martha’s Vineyard without warning.

Fernandes, whose neighborhood includes Martha’s Vineyard, immediately packed his bags and jumped on the first ferry to the island, eager to help.

And he wasn’t the only one; within hours, the community mobilized to provide housing, food and care for migrants who had been sent there without notice by Florida Governor Ron DeSantis as part of a so-called “immigration relocation program.”

“We saw the best of what the community has to offer and the best I think America can be of mobilizing to support extremely vulnerable people and show them the dignity and support they deserve,” said Fernandes Boston.com.

However, he added, “the take-away on the opposite side is how cruel some people in this country can be, and some parts of the country support them in doing so.”

Threats to Migrants, Supporters

Example: A little more than a week after arriving in Massachusetts, migrants and their attorneys received d*ath threats.

Civil rights lawyerswhich represents the majority of migrants, filed a federal class action lawsuit against DeSantis, Florida Department of Transportation Secretary Jared Perdue, state of Florida and other “associates” on Wednesday.

Meanwhile, LCR clients “received a barrage of hate messages, including d*ath threats,” according to Elyssa Pachico, director of communications America’s alliancenetwork of migrant-led organizations and one of the reasons.

“Due to the legitimacy of these threats[…]Boston federal court issued a motion (Wednesday) for anonymous proceedings to protect the identity of the migrant plaintiffs involved, Pachico told Boston.com in an email.

Fernandes said his office received thousands of messages regarding his work with migrants. Many of them are encouraging, he said, “and many are not.”

“I’m not at all surprised by the answer,” said Fernandes. “It is not the first time that as an elected official I have received unpleasant things on my side; it just comes, unfortunately, from the territory of being a public servant in this era. “

However, he explained that he considered it important to oppose DeSantis and other governors who transported migrants to the sanctuary states and treated them as less than human.

Fernandes has joined forces with state Senator Julian Cyra, whose district includes Martha’s Vineyard and Cape Cod, where many of the migrants reside at Joint Base Cape Cod.

The couple wrote letters to Attorney General Merrick Garland and US Attorney Rachael Rollins, calling on the Department of Justice to investigate the circumstances of migrant transport. Their claims that migrants were persuaded to board under deceptive promises of accommodation, work and immigration assistance matched the account of the Civil Rights Lawyers.

In an email sent to Boston.com, Cyra’s office confirmed that the senator had also received threats and other hateful messages.

“Last week we saw some of the worst aspects of our policy, and with them came unacceptable hatred and vitriol,” Cyr said in a statement. “My colleagues and I are taking this calmly and focusing on the compassionate reaction of our constituents to the situation.”

“It is a clear reminder of the threat under which many immigrants constantly live,” he added. “We must ensure the safety of asylum seekers who come to this country in search of security and a better life.”

What’s next?

Today, Fernandes said his work with migrants focuses on facilitating long-term solutions in the community.

“Lots of people in Martha’s Vineyard, as well as the Cape, have benefited from housing, options and jobs,” he said.

His office passes these offers on to social workers and lawyers working with migrants in the field.

“I know there are many people in the community who would like to see them stay here, but of course they can eventually leave whenever they want,” said Fernandes, adding, “Ultimately it’s up to them to see what happens next.”

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