How Migrants Flown to Martha’s Winery Got here to Name It Residence


On a sprawling Martha’s Winery property not removed from the seashore, Deici Cauro adjusted a baseball cap to maintain the burning solar at bay. She was crouching to drag weeds together with her naked palms when a well-known voice known as out from the opposite aspect of the yard.

“Pots!” her employer known as, and he or she motioned for Ms. Cauro to observe her to a different backyard close by.

“¿Vamos?” Ms. Cauro replied in Spanish, questioning if that they had determined to maneuver.

“Sí, vamos, I assume, no matter which means,” her boss replied, prompting each girls to share a hearty chuckle.

When Ms. Cauro fled Venezuela final summer time, she by no means imagined that someday she can be working and residing on a rich island south of Cape Cod, surrounded by boats and mansions of the sort she had seen solely within the films.

It has been 9 months for the reason that authorities of Florida, below the path of Gov. Ron DeSantis, chartered two flights from Texas that picked up Ms. Cauro and 48 different newly arrived migrants and dropped them off on Martha’s Vineyard, a liberal enclave that till then had little firsthand expertise with the surge in migration on the U.S.-Mexico border.

The political transfer — repeated this month, when Florida officers arranged two more flights of migrants from Texas, this time sure for California — was an try and drive Democratic leaders many miles away to take care of a surge in migration that has affected states alongside the border. The journeys left lots of the Venezuelans confused and alarmed. Some had been advised they had been headed for Boston or Seattle, the place there can be plentiful jobs, help and housing.

However neither was the vacation spot; it was Martha’s Winery, and it was the tip of the busy summer time season when vacationers start retreating dwelling to places of work and faculties. There have been no jobs and no locations for them to remain. Volunteers put the brand new arrivals up at a neighborhood church and organized for transportation.

Inside days, many of the migrants had been gone, headed for different components of Massachusetts and locations like New York, Washington and Michigan — cities higher outfitted than a small island to settle individuals who had arrived with little or nothing of their very own.

Because it turned out, although, not all of them left.

Ms. Cauro is one in all no less than 4 migrants who’ve quietly stayed behind on the island, forming bonds with a neighborhood that opened what doorways it might. Ms. Cauro, 25, is working as a landscaper. Her brother, Daniel, 29, and her cousin, Eliud Aguilar, 28, discovered jobs in portray and roofing.

They first stayed within the houses of Martha’s Winery residents who invited them in, after which started incomes sufficient cash for a two-bedroom home, with the 4 of them chipping in $1,000 a month every. They received bicycles to journey round city.

“I didn’t even know the place Martha’s Winery was. And now I really feel welcomed by everyone right here. I’m working, making buddies and that is dwelling for me now,” Ms. Cauro stated with a large smile. “That is dwelling now. I don’t wish to go away.”

The flights organized by Florida got here because the Republican governors of Texas and Arizona had been busing 1000’s of migrants away from the border, straining assist programs in cities like New York, Washington and Chicago.

Lots of the 49 migrants who had been flown to Martha’s Winery are nonetheless struggling. Some haven’t but obtained work permits, and lots of are nonetheless residing in shelters, unable to afford everlasting housing.

One in every of them, a 42-year-old man named Wilson, who had fled Venezuela after deserting an armed group there, resides in a shelter in a Boston suburb. He hoped to open a restaurant or a reworking enterprise, however for now’s working odd jobs and “doing no matter I can,” he stated.

“We had been 49 migrants, and we’ve 49 completely different tales,” he stated. “I wish to attain the American dream like everybody else.”

The 4 migrants who managed to remain on the island have additionally had challenges. Ms. Cauro stated she nonetheless discovered it exhausting to belief strangers after the deeply unsettling sense of being solid adrift by individuals who she now thinks used her and her relations as political pawns.

She stated it was vital to her to pay her personal method and never turn out to be a burden on the neighborhood that welcomed her. Her employer, a girl in her 60s who declined to be named as a result of she was using somebody with no work allow, stated Ms. Cauro felt like a part of the household.

Ms. Cauro understood sufficient to nod her head. “We got here right here to work in any job, irrespective of how exhausting. We’re simply comfortable to be residing right here.”

Life in “La Isla,” because the migrants name it, feels loads like the brand new life that they had imagined. However getting there was an incredible problem. Ms. Cauro and her members of the family, dealing with an oppressive authorities and financial collapse in Venezuela, had set out for the USA a month earlier than reaching the border.

Her brother, Daniel, had left behind a spouse and two youngsters, Daniela, 8, and Reynaldo, 2. They traversed the Darien Hole, a treacherous strip of jungle that connects South and Central America. In Mexico, the group jumped on La Bestia, a community of cargo trains headed north the place many migrants have misplaced their limbs and even their lives.

Once they arrived on the Texas border, Mr. Aguilar recalled seeing individuals in his group lose their footing and be swept away by the sturdy present of the Rio Grande. “It was so tough seeing them sink to the underside of the river,” Mr. Aguilar stated.

The group lastly crossed into the USA close to Eagle Go, Texas, and located refuge at a shelter in San Antonio. However after the restrict of 5 nights, they discovered themselves stranded exterior, drained and hungry. “We had been determined,” Mr. Cauro stated.

After a number of days, in early September, they met a woman named Perla, who handed them McDonald’s present playing cards and provided them a resort and free flights to “Washington or Oregon,” the place the girl stated they might discover work and housing, the migrants recalled.

However quarter-hour earlier than their airplane was to land, they stated, one thing felt unsuitable. Mr. Cauro and his group had been handed purple folders with a canopy that proclaimed, “Massachusetts Welcomes You.”

Ms. Cauro and her brother stated they had been in shock and felt “like cattle” after they had been dropped off close to a highschool subject in Edgartown, one of many six cities that make up Martha’s Winery, and had been advised to knock on doorways. “Some individuals had been passing out, having panic assaults,” Mr. Cauro recalled.

Father Chip Seadale of St. Andrew’s Episcopal Church was out of city when the flights landed, however instantly received on the cellphone when he heard what had occurred. “In the event that they don’t have anyplace to remain, let’s simply put them up within the church,” he advised his colleagues.

The hearth division and Salvation Military volunteers arrange cots within the church, and native residents poured in with clothes, meals and cash. Father Seadale stated one lady rode her bike to the church and handed over a test for $10,000.

There was generosity from everywhere in the nation, he stated, pointing to a wall on the church lined in letters from supporters. One envelope addressed to “The Church They Introduced The Immigrents to” managed to make it to the suitable deal with. An enclosed letter learn, “Thanks for treating the migrants as individuals.”

“The neighborhood got here collectively,” Father Seadale stated. No matter was the intention of Mr. DeSantis, he stated, “he raised a degree of consciousness and consciousness. To this present day, each time I’m going and I say that I’m from Martha’s Winery, individuals congratulate me for the way in which we dealt with it.”

Not everybody welcomed the brand new arrivals with open arms.

One longtime resident, Angela Cywinski, stated the scenario put the neighborhood in a troublesome place, attempting to accommodate individuals who couldn’t legally be employed at eating places or accommodations. Many of the immigrant employees on the island, she stated, have put within the mandatory money and time to acquire authorized standing. Ms. Cywinski stated she is aware of migrants from Brazil who’ve spent as much as $60,000 and waited years to acquire visas to stay legally on the island. “It isn’t honest when individuals soar the road,” she stated.

Ms. Cauro and others needed to discover work below the desk till their work permits are authorized, one thing that normally takes a number of months as a part of the asylum course of.

Rachel Self, an immigration lawyer who has labored with the migrants, stated the Venezuelans are working exhausting and paying their very own method.

On a latest Sunday afternoon, Ms. Self arrived on the home the place the Venezuelans had been residing, on a quiet street. They had been enjoying salsa music and cooking caldo de res, a red-meat soup frequent in Venezuela. Over dinner, they shared laughs and made plans to go to the house of the “abogada” — the lawyer, as they’ve come to know her — and in addition the seashore close by made well-known by the film “Jaws.”

Martha’s Winery is just not the place that they had imagined for themselves, they stated, but it surely has turn out to be the place the place they hope to place down roots. Mr. Cauro stated he want to carry his spouse and two youngsters from Venezuela as soon as his personal authorized standing was secured.

When his household calls him on FaceTime, , he tells them to be affected person. He has not seen them for a yr, however he guarantees it won’t be an excessive amount of longer.

His 2-year-old son, Reynaldo, carrying a straw hat he hardly ever takes off, at all times asks when he can be dwelling.

“I’m already dwelling,” Mr. Cauro replies. In the future, he reminds his son, he may even be dwelling with him.


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