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USA News

“60 Minutes” takes an in-depth look at the Martha’s Vineyard migrant incident


Florida paid more than $600,000 for a political stunt that sent migrants to Martha’s Vineyard on private jets last year, “60 Minutes” reported.

Two planeloads of migrants from Venezuela suddenly arrived on Martha’s Vineyard on September 14, 2022. Jonathan Wiggs/Boston Globe staff, file

Early on September 14, 2022, dozens of newly arrived migrants lined up on a tarmac in San Antonio, Texas, and were whisked away on private jets with no explicit destination.

Their arrival on Martha’s Vineyard a few hours later was a surprise not only to the island’s inhabitants – who had not been warned in advance – but also to the migrants themselves, some of whom would later say that they had been lured onto planes with misleading promises of aid.

Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis quickly took credit for the flights, saying they were part of the state’s resettlement program “aimed at transporting illegal immigrants to sanctuary destinations.”

A little more than a year later, only a few migrants remain on Martha’s Vineyard, according to a CBS “60 Minutes” report, which revealed new details about the thefts and their aftermath.

Daniel Cauro, 30, arrived in the United States after a months-long trip from Venezuela with his sister Deici and two cousins, according to the “60 Minutes” segment. They applied for asylum and were legally allowed to enter the United States when, Cauro said, two women approached the tired and hungry migrants outside a resource center and offered to help.

“She was like, ‘We want to send you to a state where there aren’t a lot of migrants, and you’re going to have a lot of help, because you’re going to have housing and all that,’” Cauro recalled. .

He and his sister both told “60 Minutes” correspondent Sharyn Alfonsi that Massachusetts never came up in that conversation. Today, only Cauro, her sister and their cousins ​​remain on Martha’s Vineyard out of the original group of nearly 50 migrants.

The thefts immediately sparked outrage on Martha’s Vineyard and across the United States, with islanders and Massachusetts leaders mobilizing to provide temporary housing and resources. Citing public records, “60 Minutes” reported that the political hit ultimately cost Florida more than $600,000, or about $12,000 per migrant.

The migrants all had permission to travel to the United States while awaiting their asylum hearing, according to “60 Minutes.”

Rachel Self, a criminal defense and immigration attorney who lives on nearby Chappaquiddick Island, told the news program that the kickoff “also provided (migrants) a completely independent path to legalize their status here,” citing the U visa, which reserves visas for certain “victims of criminal activity.”

Meanwhile, “60 Minutes” reported that no one in the Florida governor’s office has been charged with crimes in connection with the thefts, although Javier Salazar, sheriff of Bexar County, Texas, has recommended felony and misdemeanor criminal charges against two anonymous recruiters in June. . The Bexar County Prosecutor’s Office is reportedly reviewing Salazar’s recommendation.

Watch the “60 Minutes” clip on Martha’s Vineyard migrants below:


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