Migrants sue Florida governor over Martha’s Vineyard thefts – The Denver Post

BOSTON (AP) — Venezuelan migrants flown to the upscale Massachusetts island of Martha’s Vineyard sued Florida Governor Ron DeSantis and his transportation secretary on Tuesday for engaging in a “fraudulent and discriminatory scheme” to relocate them.

The lawsuit, filed in federal court in Boston, alleges that the migrants were told they were going to Boston or Washington, “which was completely untrue”, and were induced with benefits such as McDonald’s gift certificates. of $10.

“No human being should be used as a political pawn,” said Ivan Espinoza-Madrigal, executive director of Lawyers for Civil Rights, which is seeking class-action status in the lawsuit filed on behalf of several migrants who were on board the ships. flights last week and Alianza Americas, a network of advocacy groups.

“It is opportunistic for activists to use illegal immigrants for political theater,” Taryn Fenske, DeSantis communications director, said in a statement late Tuesday.

The lawsuit, which also names Transportation Secretary Jared W. Perdue as a defendant, alleges the migrants were tricked into crossing state lines under false pretences, a line some Democratic officials are using to demand a federal investigation.

On Monday, Javier Salazar, the sheriff of Bexar County, which includes San Antonio, opened an investigation into the thefts, but the elected Democrat did not specify which laws could have been broken. California Governor Gavin Newsom and US Representative Joaquin Castro, whose district includes San Antonio, have asked the Justice Department to open an investigation.

Speculation was rampant among government officials, advocates and reporters Tuesday about DeSantis’ next move, consistent with the element of surprise he and another Republican governor, Greg Abbott of Texas, sought in transporting and flying migrants across the country to Democratic strongholds. with little or no notice.

Asked Tuesday about speculation that DeSantis may be sending migrants to his home state of Delaware, President Joe Biden said, “He should come visit us. We have a beautiful coastline.

DeSantis declined to confirm speculation, based on flight-tracking software, that more migrants were on the move. He again defended his decision to transport about 50 Venezuelans to Martha’s Vineyard, saying their decisions were completely voluntary and, without evidence, they were in a terrible state when Florida got involved.


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