The organization of lawyers Lawyers for Civil Rights (LCR, in English) filed a class action lawsuit in Boston on Tuesday against the Governor of Florida, Republican Ron DeSantis, for ordering the sending of fifty migrants last week to the exclusive island of Martha’s Vineyard.
The lawsuit alleges that nearly fifty “vulnerable” migrants, including women and children, were transported “in a fraudulent and discriminatory manner” to Martha’s Vineyard, in Massachusetts, without shelter or available resources, with “false promises of work, education for children and immigration assistance.
LCR executive director Iván Espinoza Madrigal said in a statement that “no human being should be used as a political pawn in the nation’s highly polarized debate on immigration.”
50 Venezuelan migrants
DeSantis sent two charter planes with 50 Venezuelan migrants to the Martha’s Vineyard airport on Wednesday as part of a $12 million budget program to relocate undocumented immigrants to so-called “sanctuary states.”
In parallel, the governor of Texas, also a Republican Greg Abbott, sent two buses on Thursday with a hundred migrants to the official residence of the country’s vice president, Kamala Harris, in Washington; and he did it again on Saturday, while he sent another three vehicles with undocumented immigrants to New York.
The executive director of Alianza Americas, another organization that helps immigrants, Óscar Chacón, said in the same statement that the governor of Florida promotes an agenda “driven by hate” contrary to “the best traditions” of the country.
“That is why we have taken the steps to legally challenge what we see as not only a morally reprehensible action, but also what we believe to be illegal,” added Chacón.
These organizations represent three Venezuelan migrants who have decided to file the lawsuit against DeSantis and the state of Florida, as well as against the state Secretary of Transportation, Jared Perdue, and the department he heads.
Plan “premeditated, fraudulent and illegal”
In their court brief, the plaintiffs allege that these Florida authorities executed a “premeditated, fraudulent and illegal” plan by which people posing as “good Samaritans” captured the migrants in the surroundings of a shelter and similar premises in Texas offering them humanitarian aid.
Among other things, according to the brief, they were given $10 coupons to spend at a well-known fast food chain and were convinced to get on the planes that took them to Martha’s Vineyard, assuring them that they would be offered opportunities to work there, to find housing and that their children have an education.
Once they accepted, they were put up for free in a hotel before leaving for that island, under the belief that the planes would go to Washington DC or Boston.
Upon arrival at Martha’s Vineyard they were left without food, drink and lodging and without anyone on the island or in the state of Massachusetts knowing in advance that they would arrive there, the text indicates.