Law enforcement investigating case of migrants lured to Martha’s Vineyard


A Texas law The law enforcement agency said on Monday it had opened an investigation into the circumstances surrounding Florida Governor Ron DeSantis’ political stunt involving the relocation of dozens of migrants from the Lone Star State to the wealthy Massachusetts island of Martha’s Vineyard last week.

Bexar County Sheriff Javier Salazar strongly criticized the anti-immigrant operation, telling a press conference on Monday that the 48 people – most of whom are from Venezuela – were apparently “exploited and deceived” for them to leave a migrant resource center in his county as a hired scout, flown on a flight to Florida, then “unceremoniously stranded” at Martha’s Vineyard despite being told they were on their way to Boston to receive expedited working documents.

Rafael Eduardo, an undocumented immigrant from Venezuela, hugs another immigrant Thursday outside St. Andrews Episcopal Church on Martha’s Vineyard.

The Washington Post via Getty Images

DeSantis, a Republican vying for re-election and possibly a 2024 presidential run, took credit for the stunt, saying Florida paid for the trip through a state program that funds the resettlement of migrants.

Salazar, whose county includes San Antonio, called it “nothing more than political posturing to make a point,” but he declined to name DeSantis or anyone else as a target of the investigation.

“What infuriates me the most about this case is that here we have 48 people who are already going through difficult times, right?” Salazar said. “They are here legally in our country at this time; they have every right to be where they are. And I believe they were preyed upon. Someone came from out of state, preyed on these people, lured them in with promises of a better life, which they absolutely wanted.

Millions of people have fled Venezuela in recent years, putting their lives at risk to escape political unrest, widespread violence, economic crises and shortages of food, medicine and other essentials.

The migrants, who arrived on a flight sent by Florida Governor Ron DeSantis, gather with their belongings outside St. Andrews Episcopal Church on Martha's Vineyard.
The migrants, who arrived on a flight sent by Florida Governor Ron DeSantis, gather with their belongings outside St. Andrews Episcopal Church on Martha’s Vineyard.

The Bexar County Sheriff’s Office said that in addition to the investigation, it is cooperating with private attorneys who represent migrants and with immigrant advocacy organizations, several of which have demanded a criminal investigation into DeSantis’ actions. .

A Boston immigration attorney who handles migrant cases, Rachel Self, said over the weekend that migrants were given forged addresses matching “random homeless shelters” for their official documents, May to be to make it more difficult for them to stay in the United States.

Although they didn’t expect the migrants last week, residents and officials at Martha’s Vineyard quickly organized temporary housing for the new arrivals. On Friday, Massachusetts Governor Charlie Baker (right) announced that the men, women and children would be moved to a better equipped military base on Cape Cod to provide them with temporary shelter.




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