Migrants Sent Martha’s Vineyard Call For Criminal Probe Into Gov. Ron DeSantis
Lawyers representing asylum seekers transported to Martha’s Vineyard by Gov. Ron DeSantis (R-Florida) are asking for a criminal investigation into the episode.
In a letter sent to Massachusetts Attorney General Maura Healey (D), Lawyers for Civil Rights (LCR) claimed their clients were deceived and induced to board airplanes under false promises.
The group represents 30 of the 48 migrants shipped by the DeSantis last week.
It was the most recent stunt orchestrated by Republican governors who have been transferring migrants to Democratic-led cities to pressure the Biden administration to toughen border control.
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“Our clients were induced to board airplanes and cross state lines under false pretenses,” read the letter released on Sunday. “Individuals, working in concert with the Florida Governor, made numerous false promises to our clients, including of work opportunities, schooling for their children, and immigration assistance, in order to induce them to travel. It was only when the flight was in mid-air that they were informed they would be flown to Martha’s Vineyard, rather than to Boston as many had been told.”
DeSantis has denied the claims that this was a publicity stunt. In a press conference last week, the governor argued the flights were voluntary.
“They’re given a good ride,” he told reporters. “It’s a humane thing to do.”
LCR argues, however, that their clients were deprived of their liberty by deception. According to the organization, DeSantis’s actions violate the Massachusetts Civil Rights Act. They are also seeking investigations considering other laws applicable.
“The perpetrators targeted our clients based on race and national origin in order to make the political point they wanted.” read the statement.
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