Lawyers for 30 migrants flown to Martha’s Vineyard by Ron DeSantis call for CRIMINAL investigation

Lawyers for 30 of the migrants flown to Martha’s Vineyard by Ron DeSantis call for CRIMINAL probe into Florida governor – claiming he falsely promised them jobs and immigration help

  • Attorneys for a group representing 30 migrants flown to Martha’s Vineyard last week are calling for state & federal prosecutors to open criminal investigations 
  • Lawyers for Civil Rights have sent letters to the U.S. attorney for Massachusetts and the state’s attorney general
  • They allege the flights organized by Florida Governor Ron DeSantis were deceptive and ushered the migrants onto place under false pretenses
  • DeSantis flew 50 migrants in two planes to the island in Massachusetts 
  • The illegal immigrants have since been ferried across to the mainland to military Joint Base on Cape Cod – 32 miles away 

Attorneys who are representing the 30 of the 48 Venezuelan asylum-seekers who were flown from Texas to Martha’s Vineyard off the Massachusetts are looking to open a criminal investigation, claiming the victims were ‘induced to board airplanes and cross state lines under false pretenses’.

Boston-based group Lawyers for Civil Rights (LCR) who are representing the asylum-seekers pro-bono say the group, which includes women and toddlers, were duped in a coordinated political stunt that targeted vulnerable people based on their race and country of origin. 

‘Individuals, working in concert with state officials, including the Florida governor, made numerous false promises [to the migrants] – including of work opportunities, schooling for their children, and immigration assistance – in order to induce them to travel,’ the lawyers state.

The lawyers are now urging US attorney Rachael Rollins and the Massachusetts Attorney General, Maura Healey, to open up criminal investigations into those who behind the transportation of the group. 

‘We strongly believe that criminal laws were broken by the perpetrators of this stunt,’ LCR wrote in a letter.

Governor of Massachusetts Charlie Baker made the decision to move the illegal immigrants just 48 hours after they landed in the billionaire¿s enclave, with some residents left reeling

Governor of Massachusetts Charlie Baker made the decision to move the illegal immigrants just 48 hours after they landed in the billionaire’s enclave, with some residents left reeling 

DeSantis sent two planes of 50 migrants to the affluent island on Thursday, and is now threatening to send more to Delaware - following in the 'blueprint' of Texas Gov Greg Abbott

DeSantis sent two planes of 50 migrants to the affluent island on Thursday, and is now threatening to send more to Delaware – following in the ‘blueprint’ of Texas Gov Greg Abbott

Boston-based group Lawyers for Civil Rights (LCR) who are representing the asylum-seekers pro-bono say the group, which includes women and toddlers, were duped in a coordinated political stunt that targeted vulnerable people based on their race and country of origin

Boston-based group Lawyers for Civil Rights (LCR) who are representing the asylum-seekers pro-bono say the group, which includes women and toddlers, were duped in a coordinated political stunt that targeted vulnerable people based on their race and country of origin

‘This cowardly political stunt has placed our clients in peril. Upon arrival, numerous individuals had to be rushed to the hospital, in need of medical care. Some now have immigration hearings as early as Monday thousands of miles away,’ the lawyers added in a statement.

‘They preyed on the vulnerability of our clients – many of whom had suffered deep trauma in their home countries and on their journeys to the United States – and exploited this vulnerability to win trust through false promises,’ it added. 

The migrants were only told that their destination was Martha’s Vineyard rather than the city of Boston when they were already en route. 

Florida governor Ron DeSantis has said the migrants knew full well where they were going having earlier signed waivers. 

The migrants have since been moved to Joint Base Cape Cod on the mainland. 

The 50 migrants who arrived at Martha's Vineyard have now been moved 32 miles away to a military base in Cape Cod

The 50 migrants who arrived at Martha’s Vineyard have now been moved 32 miles away to a military base in Cape Cod

Immigrants were staying at the St. Andrews Episcopal Church in Martha's Vineyard late last week. Some refugees were playing football out front of the church today. Some were leaving the church holding new clothes and sneakers

Immigrants were staying at the St. Andrews Episcopal Church in Martha’s Vineyard late last week. Some refugees were playing football out front of the church today. Some were leaving the church holding new clothes and sneakers

The JBCC joint-use base where the migrants are now being taken is home to five military commands training for missions at home and overseas, and was used as a hospital during the COVID-19 pandemic

The JBCC joint-use base where the migrants are now being taken is home to five military commands training for missions at home and overseas, and was used as a hospital during the COVID-19 pandemic

DeSantis may yet feel some political fallout from the episode with Florida being home to the largest contingent of Venezuelan’s in the U.S. 

Local community leaders have accused the governor of attempting to score political points. 

The sending of migrants to Martha’s Vineyard is one of a number of moves in recent months carried out by Republican governors leading southern border states, many of whom have bussed thousands of migrants to Washington DC, New York and Chicago.

DeSantis may yet feel some political fallout from the episode with Florida being home to the largest contingent of Venezuelan's in the U.S.

DeSantis may yet feel some political fallout from the episode with Florida being home to the largest contingent of Venezuelan’s in the U.S.

Texas Governor Greg Abbott has sent 11,000 migrants to sanctuary cities and states  including 8,000 to DC and 2,500 to New York City.

At least 600 migrants from Texas have also been transported to Chicago since late August. 

Similarly, Arizona Governor Doug Ducey has bused almost 2,000 migrants to D.C.

Much of the intention is to highlight the Biden Administration’s ineffective grip that it has on the immigration crisis, especially in the run up to November’s midterms where immigration is set to weigh on voter’s minds as a key issue.

On Saturday, around 50 migrants were bussed from Texas and dropped off outside the home of vice-president, Kamala Harris.

White House press secretary Karine Jean-Pierre said at a press briefing on Friday that Abbott and DeSantis used migrants 'as political pawns, treated them like chattel'

White House press secretary Karine Jean-Pierre said at a press briefing on Friday that Abbott and DeSantis used migrants ‘as political pawns, treated them like chattel’

Democrats say the strategy only causes added stress for the migrants who are often looking to reunite with relatives that are already in the country as they await their own immigration hearings. 

The White House has decried the Republican governors’ efforts, saying the migrants, mostly from Venezuela, were being used in a political stunt.

‘These were children. They were moms. They were fleeing communism. And what did Governor DeSantis and Governor Abbott do to them? They used them as political pawns, treated them like chattel,’ White House press secretary Karine Jean-Pierre said at a press briefing on Friday.

She said: ‘This is an issue that is inhumane it is abhorrent and we should not be using people, migrants, who are fleeing communism as a political pawn.’ 

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