September 28, 2022

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Why Martha’s Vineyard Is at the Center of the American Immigration Struggle

On Wednesday, Republicans led a group of immigrants to this favorite vacation spot of Democratic leaders. Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis, the Republican presidential candidate, said he was behind it.

Here are some facts about Martha’s Vineyard:

* DeSantis’ spokeswoman, Christina Bushau, tweeted a photo showing the home of former Democratic President Barack Obama and his wife Michelle, writing, “This bad boy could hold a lot of illegal immigrants.”

* The Obamas’ seven-bedroom, 8.5-bathroom mansion cost $11.75 million in 2019.

* The island was also a vacation spot for former Democratic President Bill Clinton and his wife Hillary.

* The island is closely associated with the Kennedy family. Former President John F. Kennedy vacationed there, and in the 1970s his widow, Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis, purchased the 350-acre Red Gate Ranch.

* John F. Kennedy Jr. He was killed along with his wife and brother-in-law in 1999 when the plane he was flying crashed into the Atlantic Ocean off Martha’s Vineyard, not far from Hyannis Harbor.

* In 1969, Senator Edward Kennedy drove off the bridge connecting the small island of Chappaquiddick and Martha’s Vineyard, killing his passenger, Mary Jo Copeigné.

* Islanders are familiar with US Secret Service motorcades, helicopters flying in for security and the resulting traffic jams.

* The island’s population is liberal and supports the island’s efforts to combat climate change, which could be affected by rising sea levels and intense hurricanes.

* The island is prized for its privacy and is only accessible by plane or boat. It has also been a haven for talk show host David Letterman, actor Meg Ryan and director Spike Lee.

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* The island is only 20 miles long and has five golf courses, making it popular with the 17,000 year-round residents and 50,000 to 100,000 summer tourists who live there, according to the Martha’s Vineyard Authority.

* Although 88% of residents are white, the island has been a well-known summer retreat for black families since the 1800s, according to the commission.

* Homes can cost millions of dollars, with the average home sale on the island expected to exceed $1 million in 2020, according to the Martha’s Vineyard Times.

* There are no vineyards in Martha’s Vineyard. The island gets its name because of the deadly vegetation along the coast.

* For more than 200 years, it was one of the country’s largest deaf communities, with islanders developing their own sign language.