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Mass. officials set up temporary shelter on Cape Cod for migrants sent to Martha's Vineyard

A truck drives past a welcome sign to Joint Base Cape Cod, Sept. 22, 2014, in Sandwich, Mass. (Steven Senne/AP)
A truck drives past a welcome sign to Joint Base Cape Cod, Sept. 22, 2014, in Sandwich, Mass. (Steven Senne/AP)

Massachusetts officials are setting up a temporary shelter and other supports at Joint Base Cape Cod for the nearly 50 migrants who were unexpectedly dropped off on Martha's Vineyard on Wednesday.

The Baker administration said in a statement Friday morning that it would offer transportation to any of the migrants, nearly all native Venezuelans, who voluntarily decide to come stay at the base.

The base, which the state has previously designated an emergency shelter, will offer dormitory-style spaces, with separate spots to accommodate families or individuals. The administration said families will not be separated.

The base will also feature space for migrants to find other resources like legal services, health care, crisis counseling and translators.

“We are grateful to the providers, volunteers and local officials that stepped up on Martha’s Vineyard over the past few days to provide immediate services to these individuals,” Gov. Charlie Baker said in the statement. “Our Administration has been working across state government to develop a plan to ensure these individuals will have access to the services they need going forward, and Joint Base Cape Cod is well equipped to serve these needs."

In what many have called "a political stunt," Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis said Thursday he paid to fly the migrants from Texas to Martha's Vineyard. The migrants said they were told false promises to get them on the plane and did not know they were headed to the coastal island.

“While Wednesday’s arrival on Martha’s Vineyard was unexpected, the extraordinary response was not,” said Public Safety and Security Secretary Terrence Reidy in the statement. “The work of so many state and local partners exemplify the best values of our Commonwealth, providing safe shelter, food and care for individuals that had been through a long harrowing journey.”

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Laney Ruckstuhl Twitter Associate Digital Producer
Laney Ruckstuhl is an associate digital producer.

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