Two unannounced aircraft carrying approximately 50 the migrants landed in the wealthy Massachusetts seaside enclave on Wednesday evening, surprising locals.
Florida Governor Ron DeSantis claimed responsibility for the stunt, which took the migrants from Texas, not Florida, and left them unplanned on the streets.
Many have rightly pointed out that the political point came at the expense of vulnerable migrants who had already been through an extremely arduous journey – but some details of the transport may surprise you. For starters, many migrants enjoyed the ride.
Are these migrants in the country illegally?
These Republican governor stunts are built on the misconception that migrants are in the country illegally. Technically, those on the buses and planes are asylum seekers who have been processed by federal immigration authorities and await court dates.
Where do migrants come from?
While most of these migrants have crossed the border into Mexico, they are fleeing impoverished economies and dangerous situations at home in Central America and, increasingly, South America. After crossing the border and applying for asylum, they are released into in the United States to await hearings on their asylum claim.
It was there that he was approached and asked if he wanted to go to Massachusetts. It is unclear whether he knew he was heading to a wealthy island community unprepared for the arrivals.
Are they forced on buses and planes? No they are not
Part of the anger over the stunts is also fueled by the idea that people are being forced onto buses. That’s not true, as CNN’s Gary Tuchman found out when he visited a shelter in Eagle Pass, Texas, in August.
He met asylum seekers who were planning to reunite with family and friends already scattered across the country. Other migrants coming to the US with nowhere to go were happy for the free trip.
Who is happy with the trip? These people have amazing stories
Tuchman spoke to a 28-year-old woman named Genesis Figueroa from Venezuela who traveled for a month and a half by foot, bus and boat to Eagle Pass with her husband.
He also spoke to cousins traveling from Venezuela; one man’s brother died on the trip after disappearing as they crossed the Rio Grande.
“We went in search of a dream, but now it’s a very difficult and difficult situation,” Luis Pulido told Tuchman in Spanish. He was going to board a bus bound for DC, hoping to get off in Kentucky to be met by relatives before heading to Chicago.
What happens after the bus ride?
Tuchman told me that Pulido and his cousin went on their first meeting, but it was mostly administrative and they are waiting for their next court appearance.
It takes a long time to get a work permit
Obtaining a work permit can take up to a year, New York City officials told CNN’s Polo Sandoval, who also reported this issue last month.
He went to a shelter in Brooklyn and met a young couple from Venezuela, Anabel and Crisman Urbaez, who seek asylum.
They showed him cellphone videos of their two-month trek across 10 countries, often on foot, which began in Peru and more through the jungles of Colombia and the Darien Gap connecting South America and Central America – all with their children aged 6 and 9 and their dog Max.
How long does it take to settle an immigration case?
How many will be granted asylum?
Under the Trump administration, the denial rate was over 70%, but in the first year of the Biden administration, the grant rate jumped to almost 40%.
Why are so many people coming from Venezuela?
How many people have crossed the border this year?
Some of these encounters are repeated crossings. Others were turned away under a Trump-era Covid-19 policy that the Biden administration has tried, so far unsuccessfully, to end. A fraction asks for asylum.
Why are the authorities declaring a state of emergency?
Overall, buses and now planes have moved thousands of migrants, but that’s a small fraction of the nearly 700,000 pending asylum claims that are slowly going through the justice system.
These stories are all unique, but many of them share the theme of fleeing a home without opportunity and being relatively happy for the trip within the United States from the border.