Texas authorities are investigating the transport of two cargo planes of asylum seekers to Martha’s Vineyard by Florida Governor Ron DeSantis last week for potential criminal implications.
“The Bexar County Sheriff’s Office opened an investigation into migrants who were lured from the Migrant Resource Center in Bexar County, Texas, and flew to Florida where they were eventually left alone at Martha’s Vineyard, MA,” Sheriff Javier Salazar said in Press Release and a press conference on Monday.
“In addition, we are working with private lawyers representing the victims as well as advocacy organizations in relation to the incident,” he said. “We are also preparing to work with any federal agencies that have concurrent jurisdiction if the need arises.”
Many of the 50 Venezuelan migrants said they were approached by a woman named Perla who said they would have work and help waiting if they agreed to fly to Massachusetts. The promises turned out to be untrue, especially since neither Texas nor Florida officials notified anyone in Massachusetts of their arrival.
They even received brochures containing a phone number and the Massachusetts Office of Refugees and Immigrants website Bradenton Herold reported on Monday. Salazar noted that Texas had access to a large amount of assistance for migrants.
“I believe there is some criminal activity involved,” said Salazar, not to mention DeSantis. “But we are currently trying to keep an open mind and are going to investigate exactly what laws have been broken if they do.”
The migrants also said they had been told they were going to Boston.
The DeSantis office said Massachusetts offered migrants more opportunities.
“Immigrants were more than willing to leave Bexar County after they had been abandoned, homeless and left on their own,” said DeSantis spokesman Taryn Fenske. “Florida gave them the opportunity to search for greener pastures in the sanctuary jurisdiction that offered them more resources, as we expected.”
Texas Governor Greg Abbott has been transporting thousands of migrants to Washington, New York, and now Chicago for months, including two buses dropped off near Vice President Harris’s mansion last week. DeSantis reportedly funded the costs of the aircraft charter and pleaded guilty.
With News Wire services
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