Related video: More migrants arrive in DC as White House criticizes Republican governors
A group of 48 mostly Venezuelans migrants transported from Texas on a surprise flight to Martha’s Vineyard last week sued the governor Florida Governor Ron DeSantis and his administration for allegedly orchestrating a “fraudulent and discriminatory” scheme.
The class action comes as at least two law enforcement agencies are also investigating the governor’s plans to allegedly “lure” migrants with false promises of jobs and financial aid.
After the DeSantis administration dismissed reports of a second year, this time in Delawaresaid migrants in San Antonio Miami-Herald how they were lured on a scheduled flight to the country with false promises of jobs and help before it was suddenly cancelled.
In the days after the flights, stories emerged in interviews and court documents about the migrants and their harrowing journeys to the US-Mexico border, including the alleged torture and abuse of one man by drug cartels.
Governor DeSantis and his aides have repeatedly advocated sending migrants to Democratic states and cities in protest of what they describe as the president’s “open borders” policy.
‘He was broken’: Migrants were injured, kidnapped and abused, according to volunteers
Venezuelan migrants seeking asylum in the United States have survived injuries, torture and kidnapping during the perilous trek to the US-Mexico border, volunteers offering support at a shelter on Martha’s Vineyard said.
“What they had to go through is horrible,” says Sergio Racig, who told Martha’s Vineyard Times that he and a group of men spent the night in a church where migrants slept during a two-night stay on the island after they were picked up by unannounced flights from Texas chartered by Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis.
According to Mr. Racig, one man was “kidnapped in Mexico.” “He was kidnapped and tortured by the cartels.”
The man had a “broken jaw” and “missing teeth” and was receiving psychological support from an interpreter.
“He was broken,” Mr. Racig told the newspaper.
Another volunteer called an ambulance to take the man to a local hospital where he received X-rays and other care.
Edgartown Fire Chief Alex Schaeffer said two people were transported from the church to nearby care.
Alex WoodwardSeptember 22, 2022 8:35 p.m
Fact check: GOP governors are exaggerating Biden’s role on the border — and ignoring how he looks like Trump
The Biden administration’s margin is very similar to that under Trump, despite Gov. DeSantis and others claiming the president created a “crisis.”
The migrants sent to Martha’s Vineyard are also not “illegal” but were exercising rights protected by US and international law by seeking asylum in America. The authorities have already processed them and released them.
The Independent‘s Josh Marcus focuses on some of the claims made by GOP officials in defense of migrant busing:
Texas, Florida governors exaggerate Biden’s role in border situation — and ignore how he’s like Trump
Alex WoodwardSeptember 22, 2022 8:30 p.m
A Massachusetts lawmaker joins calls for the Justice Department to investigate the flights
Massachusetts state Rep. Dylan Fernandes, who represents Martha’s Vineyard, and other state lawmakers have joined calls for the U.S. Justice Department to investigate Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis’ migrant flights.
Lawmakers “believe that these and other reported actions are designed to mislead” a group of Venezuelan immigrants seeking asylum in the U.S., “violate their rights and derail ongoing immigration processes.”
“We respectfully and urgently request that your office open an investigation into the conduct of all involved … given the seriousness of the situation and the potential for the perpetrators to repeat their actions,” the letter reads.
Alex Woodward22 September 2022 20:00
‘It was all a hoax’: Migrants reveal DeSantis’ plans to fly to Delaware
Days after a group of migrants boarded planes chartered by Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis from Texas to Martha’s Vineyard, a woman recruited other migrants to board another flight — this time from San Antonio to Delaware.
In the end, the flight never happened. State agencies, local aid groups and the White House coordinated with officials at a coastal airport in anticipation of the arrival of a second plane organized by Florida’s Republican governor.
But around the same time that Mr. DeSantis was defending his scheme on Fox News, claiming that migrants had signed declarations to “voluntarily” board Martha’s Vineyard planes, another group of migrants was filling out similar forms from their makeshift hotel rooms and preparing to what they would They were told it was a flight to Delaware where they would receive financial aid and employment.
Instead, the group was told early the next morning that the flight had been cancelled.
The governor’s operatives allegedly let the asylum seekers down after false promises and a canceled flight
Alex WoodwardSeptember 22, 2022 7:30 p.m
How the DeSantis Administration Spinned the Delaware Flight
After DeSantis officials called the reports “disinformation” and suggested Democratic officials and the media were “lead” into believing the migrant flight was bound for Delaware, new reporting reveals how migrants were lured to the hotel with false promises of a flight to a country where you could receive employment assistance and other assistance. Neither would happen.
On Tuesday, the White House said it was coordinating with state officials and aid groups to prepare for the possible arrival of a planeload of migrants sent from San Antonio to coastal Delaware near President Joe Biden’s coastal home.
Local media, aid groups and government officials gathered at the small airport to await his arrival. The plane, which left Texas traveling through Florida and Tennessee, eventually landed in New Jersey.
At an unrelated news conference Tuesday, Gov. DeSantis said he could not confirm reports of the flight and chastised Democratic officials who have criticized his $12 million plan to send migrants to other states.
“The only thing I hear them getting upset about is the 50 that end up in Martha’s Vineyard,” he said. “Sanctuary jurisdictions should bear the brunt of open borders.”
Miganti with whom he was talking Miami-Herald explained how they were taken to a hotel and promised a flight to Delaware that never came. Some were stranded there, 10 miles from the migrant aid center and shelter, while others were bussed back to the city with no explanation as to why their flight had been cancelled.
Alex WoodwardSeptember 22, 2022 19:00
Aides to DeSantis said the media and Democrats were “freaked out” by the Delaware flight that never happened. Migrants say they were cheated
After state agencies, immigration lawyers and aid groups thronged the Delaware airport to await the arrival of a planeload of migrants from San Antonio, a person close to the DeSantis administration hinted that the media and others got “punked“.
Right-wing media outlets, DeSantis aides and other figures mocked the Biden administration and others for predicting the flight. His campaign director for rapid response, Christina Pushaw, called reports of the flight “disinformation”.
But a group of migrants told Miami-Herald that they were recruited by a woman who brought them to a hotel before their scheduled flight to Delaware — relying on the same false promises made to the group of migrants sent to Martha’s Vineyard last week.
The flight was ultimately canceled and the group was either stuck in a hotel or sent back to San Antonio.
Alex WoodwardSeptember 22, 2022 6:26 p.m
“When they landed, they opened the phone and saw that they were surrounded by water”
A group of migrants who landed on Martha’s Vineyard last week were initially “frightened” to learn that the planes were landing on the island, not on the mainland in Boston, where they would have closer access to immigration services and other assistance.
“None of them knew they were going to Martha’s Vineyard,” said state Rep. Dylan Fernandes The Independent.
“When they landed, they opened the phone and saw that they were surrounded by water. And it made them incredibly anxious,” he added. “I think the community here on the Vineyard has shown what compassion is [is] and just treat people with the normal dignity and respect that every human being deserves. … This is the essence of our community.”
Alex WoodwardSeptember 22, 2022 6:10 p.m
Massachusetts lawmaker: Migrant families ‘incredibly grateful’ after moving to Cape Cod shelter
Massachusetts state representative Dylan Fernandes, who represents Martha’s Vineyard, said The Independent that the Venezuelan immigrants who arrived on the island are “incredibly grateful” for the community’s support and are in good health after moving to the larger Cape Cod shelter.
“Everyone’s needs are more than met,” he said The Independent on Thursday, one week after their surprise arrival in the country.
“Each person…has his own place, families have their own place. There is a lot of access to health care, including dental health and other types of care like crisis management and mental health,” he said.
Housing associates help them with longer-term housing solutions, and immigration attorneys also help them with their asylum cases and manage their legal status and assets while in the US.
“The people who are there are in good spirits and in good health and very grateful,” he said.
Alex WoodwardSeptember 22, 2022 5:25 p.m
Beto O’Rourke criticizes Greg Abbott’s ‘cruel and unkind’ migrant ‘ventures’
During the performance at Daily showTexas Democratic gubernatorial candidate Beto O’Rourke criticized Greg Abbott’s current scheme to send hundreds of in-state migrants to Democratic-led states and cities.
He condemned the “cruel and unkind” “exploits” of the Republican governor, who bussed migrants and families hundreds of miles from where their asylum claims originate, leaving them largely at the mercy of local urban aid groups. where they arrived.
“What if Texas took the lead in reshaping our immigration laws to reflect our values, our interests and our needs, and we said, ‘Look, [if] If you want to come to this country, you have to follow our laws,” but our laws will follow our values,” Mr O’Rourke said.
Alex WoodwardSeptember 22, 2022 4:30 p.m
Jared Kushner condemns DeSantis’ migrant flights
Trump’s son-in-law and former aide Jared Kushner said he was “very disturbed” by Gov. DeSantis’ plans to move migrants from the US-Mexico border to Martha’s Vineyard.
Mr. Kushner appeared on Fox News’ Outnumbered after last week’s scheme, while Texas Governor Greg Abbott and Arizona Governor Doug Ducey continue to send migrants who have crossed the border to cities such as Washington DC and New York.
“I personally watch what’s going on and it’s very hard to see on the southern border as well – we have to realize that these are people, they are people, so to see them being used as political cronies in one way or another is very disturbing to me, Mr. Kushner said.
The Florida governor is considered a potential challenger to Donald Trump in 2024.
Alex WoodwardSeptember 22, 2022 4:00 p.m