I saw this clip on Twitter and it really does sum up the reaction of every blue city where migrants have arrived over the past several weeks. A reporter in Martha’s Vineyard is interviewing Lisa Belcastro, the woman who coordinates the local homeless shelter. And at first her description of the community response is just glowing.
“Everyone is jumping in to help. We literally have everything we need,” she said. She continued, “We need for all of our guests to get the help they need to be in this country and safe and housing and that’s not something that we can do here at the shelter, right. We’re a stop gap. This is an emergency shelter.”
Okay, fair enough. The homeless shelter in this one town doesn’t provide permanent housing. That’s understandable. But you can probably guess by now where this is headed.
Asked about the most difficult challenges, Belcastro replied, “The difficult challenges are at some point in time they have to move from here to somewhere else. We cannot—we don’t have the services to take care of 50 immigrants.”
Wait, is she talking about the shelter again or the Martha’s Vineyard? If you guessed the latter, collect your prize.
“We certainly don’t have housing. We’re in a housing crisis as we are on this island. We don’t—we can’t house everyone here that lives here and works here. We don’t have housing for 50 more people. So that is our primary crisis,” she said.
She’d definitely talking about the whole island. Taking care of the migrants for 24 hours has been wonderful but pretty soon they need to go somewhere else.
From there she went on to say that none of the migrants had asked for money but several had asked if they could go get jobs. “These people are pawns and we have to stop the chess game,” she said. “They’re human beings, just like you, just like your spouses and just like your kids. And they don’t deserve to be treated as they’re being treated.” She asked the reporters to “pretend that it’s your child.” Nevertheless, her new children have to go.
I pointed this out yesterday but according to the Martha’s Vineyard website, the town manages to accommodate a lot of extra people every summer:
How many people live on Martha’s Vineyard?
The Vineyard is home to roughly 17,000 year-round residents. During the summer months, the population increases to nearly 200,000. Sixty-three percent of all homes on the Vineyard belong to seasonal residents.
They can manage 183,000 summer people and tourists but after one day they are saying these 50 migrants can’t possibly stay. “We need for all of our guests to get the help they need” but they’ll have to get it somewhere else.
What does Belcastro think usually happens to migrants from Venezuela, most of whom have no family or connections in the United States. Who is giving long term help to the 2,000+ people who come across the border every day? Does she think there was a supply of long term housing set up somewhere else for the million people who’ve arrived in the past year, most of whom will be here for at least 7 years while they wait for a judge to review their asylum claims? Does she think Texas and Arizona are just one giant migrant B&B that exists to deal with all of this so it doesn’t become a problem for the good folks on Martha’s Vineyard?
None of them would say that out loud of course but that seems to be the bottom line in every blue city. The are just thrilled to welcome these folks who are just like you and me, but they are already wondering when they will leave and how to stop more from coming. Not one of the reporters on hand seems the least bit interested in that part of the story.