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Mayor's Statement on Migrants Flown to Martha's Vineyard

When over 50 people abruptly arrived at the Martha’s Vineyard airport last Wednesday, the town reacted with compassion and empathy for their fellow humans. They reacted like Americans. They demonstrated that Sanctuary Cities and States do not merely exist as hypotheticals, but rather the response by Massachusetts proved we are more than ready to provide real help and safety for migrants.

As an immigrant myself, I know firsthand the struggles facing these families as they uproot their entire lives seeking safety and prosperity in our country. The way these families arrived in Massachusetts is disturbing. Human lives should never be used for political gains. But here we are. As the governors of Florida, Texas, and Arizona attempt to create disruption and chaos for Sanctuary States and Cities, we in Somerville will stay true to our values and our commitment to always be a city where everyone is welcome.

As a Sanctuary City, Somerville is rapidly putting together resources and support to ensure any migrants who arrive here have access to medical care, shelter, education, and job training. Additionally, we are reaching out to neighboring towns to learn what resources are available for all to leverage. We are coordinating with non-profits and community-based organizations in the State to build cross-sector collaborations. We are doubling down on our advocacy to foster a welcoming region for all individuals and families to thrive.

We join the state of Massachusetts, and all Sanctuary Cities and States, by setting out a vibrant welcome mat for everyone in search of a safe place to call home.

―Mayor Katjana Ballantyne

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