(Daily Mail) Attorneys who are representing 30 of the 48 Venezuelan asylum-seekers who were flown from Texas to Martha’s Vineyard off Massachusetts are looking to open a criminal investigation, claiming they 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
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
‘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
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
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.