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Martha’s Vineyard on Thursday was facing approximately 50 migrants sent by Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis, leading one group to call it a “humanitarian crisis” – even though the numbers are dwarfed by those encountered at border cities and towns on a daily basis.
“To our Island community, here is an update on [the] current humanitarian crisis on Martha’s Vineyard….we thank people for their continued help,” the Martha’s Vineyard Chamber of Commerce tweeted.
Fox News Digital first reported on Wednesday that DeSantis’ office had sent two planes to Martha’s Vineyard Airport in Massachusetts. The moves comes after border states like Texas and Arizona have been busing migrants to Washington D.C., New York City and Chicago.
“We take what’s happening at the southern border very seriously, unlike some,” DeSantis said in a Thursday speech, “and unlike the president of the United States, who has refused to lift a finger to secure that border.”
DeSantis noted that the numbers being sent to sanctuary cities and jurisdictions was just a fraction of those being encountered at the border.
“The minute even a small fraction of what those border towns deal with every day is brought to their front door, they go berserk, and they’re so upset that this is happening. And it just shows you that their virtue-signaling is a fraud,” he said.
About 50 migrants were sent to the popular summer destination for America’s liberal elite, and that number dwarfs the enormous migrant numbers being encountered by towns, cities and Border Patrol agents across the southern border.
There have so far been more than two million migrant encounters this fiscal year alone, on top of more than 1.7 million encounters in fiscal 2021. While many of those are returned either via the Title 42 public health order or other methods, a significant number are released into the U.S. to await their asylum hearings — which can take up to eight years.
According to CBP statistics, so far this fiscal year more than 500,000 migrants have been released into the U.S. by Border Patrol on their own recognizance with a court date (called a Notice to Appear) or paroled into the U.S. and enrolled into Alternatives to Detention (ATD). That statistic does not include the final two months of FY22.
The New York Times recently cited internal DHS documents and court filings to report that more than a million illegal migrants have so far been released into the U.S. for asylum hearings overall since President Biden took office. That number will continue to rise in the months and years ahead.
That figure also does not include the number of illegal aliens who have slipped past Border Patrol. Sources have put the number of known gotaways at more than 500,000 this fiscal year, on top of the nearly 400,000 known gotaways that DHS Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas previously testified there were in all of FY21.
Border towns will often face these numbers in surges as migrants come across in large groups. Fox News reported on Wednesday, the same day the 50 migrants were flying to Martha’s Vineyard, that several hundred migrants had gathered under a bridge in El Paso, Texas. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) told Fox that it was releasing migrants near El Paso shelters and bus stations as they are over capacity. El Paso’s mayor told Fox News last week it is seeing 1,000 to 1,400 migrants a day.
In Del Rio Sector alone there is an average of 1,500-2,000 illegal crossings every day. In Eagle Pass, which is included in Del Rio Sector, a large group of over 200 migrants, mostly single adults, crossed into the U.S. The Del Rio Sector saw 3,300 illegal crossings and more than 733 “gotaways” last weekend alone.
As liberal jurisdictions — including Washington D.C., New York City and Chicago — fume about the migrants being sent to their cities, border sheriffs and officials have previously told Fox News Digital that the numbers are nothing compared to what they see.
McAllen Mayor Javier Villalobos told Fox News last month that “The city of McAllen was able to deal with thousands of immigrants a day…I think they can handle a few hundred.” Villalobos said that McAllen sees about 100 crossings a day.
“They have seen nothing,” Goliad County, Texas, Sheriff Roy Boyd told Fox News Digital last week.
Migrants line up as they wait to be processed by US Border Patrol after illegally crossing the US-Mexico border in Yuma, Arizona in the early morning of July 11, 2022. ((Photo by ALLISON DINNER/AFP via Getty Images))
Sheriffs groups, meanwhile, have highlighted how their sheriffs have been dealing with surges for months that eclipse those being sent to richer liberal areas.
“They’re overwhelmed,” Jonathan Thompson, executive director and CEO of the National Sheriffs’ Association told Fox News Digital last week. “They’re overwhelmed trying to bring dead bodies and the remains of illegal aliens that are found in the desert. They’re overwhelmed in their communities with human services shortfalls. They’re overwhelmed with crime response. And they’re overwhelmed with just the sheer magnitude of things that need to happen to help care for people.”
Fox News’ Jessica Chasmar, Bill Melugin and Timothy Nerozzi contributed to this report.
Adam Shaw is a politics reporter for Fox News Digital, with a focus on immigration. He can be reached at [email protected] or on Twitter: @AdamShawNY