09/17/2009 05:12 am ET | Updated May 25, 2011

How Brazilian Migration Transformed Martha's Vineyard

Today, Martha's Vineyard - summer retreat for the likes of Bill ­Clinton, Harvey Weinstein, Spike Lee and now the Obamas - depends on thousands of Brazilians to do the hard labour. Unlike earlier influxes, these newcomers are mostly illegal (estimates are as high as 70 per cent); but until recently, their efforts were welcome and their legal status largely ignored. The immigrants build, garden and scrub the summer residents' trophy homes - so that they can build their own trophy homes back in Brazil. Nobody, including the immigrants themselves, expected them to put down roots on the island.

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