October 5, 2022
Migrants who came to Martha’s Vineyard say they were misled in the lawsuit against the government.  Ron DeSantis

A group of Venezuelan immigrants filed suit in federal court on Tuesday against Republican Governor Ron DeSantis and other Florida officials who took credit for it. Fly them to Martha’s vineyardAlleged that they were lured into flights through gifts and false offers of jobs and services.

Three Venezuelan immigrants, represented by civil rights attorneys in Massachusetts, accused DeSantis of violating several federal laws and the U.S. Constitution, asking the federal district court in Boston to allow Florida to “travel across state lines by fraud and misrepresentation.” asked to stop”.

Venezuelan asylum seekers also asked the court to reward them and several dozen other migrants monetary compensation for the emotional trauma they suffered at Martha’s Vineyard last week as a result of their transportation to the Massachusetts island .

The class-action lawsuit, which seeks to cover about 50 immigrants taken to Martha’s Vineyard, alleges that an unidentified man gave away McDonald’s gift cards, free hotel rooms, and assistance in getting them to a destination in Texas. gained the trust of the migrants. Employment, housing and other services will be available.


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The lawsuits accused the man, whom migrants said identified himself as “Perla”, “trolling” the streets outside a migrant shelter in San Antonio, identifying Venezuelan asylum seekers and To befriend those who were released and allowed to seek asylum by the Confederacy. Officers on the southern border.

After gaining the trust of a few dozen migrants, the trial alleged, “Perla” kept them in hotel rooms for a few days and then facilitated them to be taken to an airfield, where they boarded those flights. which eventually took them to Martha’s Vineyard.

But the lawsuit said the migrants were told they were being taken to Washington, D.C. or Boston. The suit says the migrants were also provided with folders, which included brochures with services that Massachusetts provides to refugees, even though the migrants were not resettled through the American Refugee Program.

According to the lawsuit, it was only after the planes took off that the migrants were told that their final destination was Martha’s Vineyard.

The migrants were astonished as they landed on the Massachusetts island. Some of them, the lawsuit said, tried to call and message “Perla” but got no response. An expatriate, called Jesus Doe, sent a voice message to “Perla”, saying, “One question, what institution should we look for? We arrived and no one is saying anything.”

A Venezuelan mother traveling with her husband and their 11-year-old said she “felt helpless, betrayed and desperate” after arriving at Martha’s Vineyard. The mother, referred to in the suit as Yanette Doe, said she began to cry.

The lawsuit, which was filed by lawyers for Civil Rights, a Boston-based organization, said the migrants “experienced cruelty similar to what they had fled” to Venezuela, which in recent years has affected millions of its citizens economically. Have seen them run away because of the downfall and the oppressive. government.


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“The defendants molested them, stripped them of their dignity, deprived them of their liberty, bodily autonomy, due process and equal protections under the law, and in furtherance of an unlawful goal and personal political commitment to the federal government.” unreasonably interfered with exclusive control of the agenda,” the lawyers wrote.

The decision to send migrants to Martha’s Vineyard, which sent local and state officials searching for shelter, food and other accommodations for unexpected arrivals, drew criticism from advocates for asylum seekers, the Biden administration and Democratic officials, who condemned it. Of. Dehumanizing the political spectacle.

On Monday, the Sheriff of Bexar County, Texas, said his office had started investigation In Florida’s transportation strategy, affected migrants were referred to as victims who were lured into flights. Advocates and some Democrats have asked the Justice Department to conduct a similar investigation.

But DeSantis has defended his actions, echoing the arguments of other Republican governors, who have said that Democratic-led cities and states should receive immigrants because their jurisdiction has allowed immigrants living in the country without legal status. has declared itself a sanctuary.

When asked about Tuesday’s lawsuit, DeSantis communications director Taryn Fenske called the action “opportunistic” in a statement.

“The transportation of immigrants to Martha’s Vineyard was done on a voluntary basis. Immigrants were homeless, hungry and abandoned – and these workers didn’t care for them then,” Fenske said. “The Florida program gave them a fresh start in a sanctuary state and these individuals opted to take advantage of chartered flights to Massachusetts.”

DeSantis’s office also shared a consent form, allegedly provided to migrants brought to Martha’s Vineyard. While some of the form has been translated into Spanish, the part referring to Massachusetts as the “final destination” has not been translated.

Like DeSantis, Texas and Arizona have had Republican governors. transporting migrants From the US-Mexico border to Democratic-controlled cities. Since April, Texas has sent more than 11,000 migrants to Washington, DC; New York; and Chicago. Meanwhile, Arizona has sent more than 1,800 migrants to DC

50 Venezuelan migrants brought to Martha’s Vineyard last week were taken to Joint Base Cape Cod, where they are receiving shelter, legal counseling and other services aided by Massachusetts state officials.

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