The idyllic island playground of the rich and famous, Martha’s Vineyard, has washed its hands in just 44 hours of what local leaders called a "humanitarian crisis" caused by the arrival of 50 migrants flown in from Florida. 

The duty of caring for the mostly Venezuelan nationals now falls on the beleaguered backs of the Massachusetts National Guard on the mainland.

The migrants were shipped by bus and ferry to Cape Cod on Friday morning.


About 55.5% of the homes on Martha’s Vineyard are vacation homes — the highest rate in the entire nation, according to a 2019 report by the National Association of Realtors. 

One local resident even urged former President Barack Obama to offer up his $12 million Vineyard vacation manse for shelter, according to the New York Post. 

But none of those vacation homeowners apparently stepped up to offer shelter to the unexpected visitors.  

Illegal immigrants sent to Martha's Vineyard, now to Cape Cod

A Venezuelan migrant is led onto a bus at St. Andrew's Episcopal Church on Friday, Sept. 16, 2022, in Edgartown, Massachusetts, on the island of Martha's Vineyard. A group of migrants was flown to the island from Texas earlier this week — and were then transferred to a Cape Cod military base. (Matias J. Ocner/Miami Herald/Tribune News Service via Getty Images)

"Operations ended here at 11 a.m." an officer at the Duke’s County Sheriff’s Office told Fox News Digital on Friday. 

Dukes County includes all six municipalities on Martha’s Vineyard.  

The Martha’s Vineyard migrants were taken by bus on Friday morning and put on an 11 a.m. ferry to the Massachusetts mainland, an official at the administrative office of Duke’s County confirmed. 

They were transferred to Joint Base Cape Cod, a former Air Force base known locally as Otis Air Base. 

Martha's Vineyard residents

Martha's Vineyard residents line up in front of St. Andrew's Parish House on Sept. 15, 2022, to donate food to recently arrived migrants. Two planes of migrants from Venezuela arrived suddenly Wednesday night on Martha's Vineyard. The migrants are now in Cape Cod. (Photo by Jonathan Wiggs/The Boston Globe via Getty Images)

Plans call for Gov. Charlie Baker to "activate up to 125 members of the Massachusetts National Guard as part of this relief effort," according to a statement from the governor.

"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," the statement said.  

St. Andrew’s Church in Edgartown, a former whaling port of stately white churches and now one of the most expensive communities in America, provided care and shelter for the migrants for two nights.

The migrants arrived at Martha’s Vineyard arrived around 3 p.m. Wednesday, sent from Florida by Gov. Ron DeSantis

It was part of his effort to force hard-left states far from the border, such as Massachusetts, to share in the burden of dealing with the torrent of migrants who flood border states by the tens of thousands each month.

St. Andrew’s Church in Edgartown, a former whaling port of stately white churches and now one of the most expensive communities in America, provided care and shelter for the migrants for the past two nights.

Martha's Vineyard volunteers

On Sept. 15, 2022, students from the Martha's Vineyard Regional High School AP Spanish class helped deliver food to St Andrew's Episcopal Church. Two planes of migrants arrived suddenly on Wednesday night on Martha's Vineyard. The students served as translators for the migrants. (Photo by Jonathan Wiggs/The Boston Globe via Getty Image)

"Vineyard community rallies relief effort for stranded migrants," boasted the front-page headline Friday of venerable local newspaper Vineyard Gazette.  

"I’m proud to be a part of this church," the congregation’s musician, Charles Rus, told Fox News Digital.  

But the problem of caring for the 50 migrants was quickly shipped off island.  

Martha’s Vineyard is a largely white, wealthy and isolated enclave that has little experience with immigrants, other than summer help. 

Foreign-born nannies, typically young women, often find summer work in America caring for the children of the island elite. 


Only 0.5% of the year-round residents of the island were born outside the United States, according to the 2020 U.S. Census. Nationally, about 14% of U.S. residents are foreign born.  

Paul Stantel, a tourist from Wisconsin who has been visiting Edgartown, said there is plenty of blame to go around for the crisis.  


"I’m ashamed of our politicians that I feel are using this as a pawn to prove their point. We’re taking on people that deserve help, need help, then we’re using them this way," said Stantel as he sat in the shade on a sunny, fall-like day wearing a Green Bay Packers ball cap.  

"It all begins in Washington when we have two parties who can’t compromise."