Ron DeSantis: Migrants sue governor over island transportation


Ron DeSantis
"False promises": Migrants sue US governor for transport to posh holiday island

Had migrants taken out of his state by plane: Florida Governor Ron DeSantis

Florida Governor Ron DeSantis had migrants flown from his state to Massachusetts

© Orlando Sentinel/TNS/ABACA/Picture Alliance

Florida Governor Ron DeSantis has flown refugees to a holiday island in protest at the US government's immigration policy. The migrants are now taking the Republican to court.

The high-profile migrants shipped by plane to the US vacation island of Martha's Vineyard from Venezuela are defending themselves with a lawsuit against the responsible governor of Florida, Ron DeSantis. They accuse the Republican and the US state Department of Transportation of using the plight of vulnerable people for its "illegal purposes" and "political interests," according to a lawsuit filed in a Boston court on Tuesday (local time). They're seeking a jury trial and damages.

The 50 or so Venezuelan migrants and the immigrant rights organization Alianza Americas have accused DeSantis and other Florida officials of luring them with "false promises and misrepresentations" about jobs and housing. The plaintiffs fled socialist-ruled Venezuela in a desperate attempt "to protect themselves and their families from gang, police and state-sponsored violence and the repression of political dissidents," the class-action lawsuit says. They deserved just as much dignity and compassion as anyone else. DeSantis also violated the exclusive jurisdiction of the US government with his action.

governor DeSantis had had several dozen migrants flown unannounced to Martha's Vineyard in the state of Massachusetts last week. The island is known as a posh resort and destination for democratic politicians. US President John F. Kennedy vacationed there, Bill Clinton vacations on Martha's Vineyard, and Barack Obama and former Secretary of State John Kerry own homes there.

Texas Sheriff is investigating Ron DeSantis' actions

The migrants had been flown to the island from the state of Texas via Florida. DeSantis, who is considered a possible Republican presidential nominee in the 2024 election, claimed they were chosen because they actually wanted to come to Florida from Texas. Alianza Americas estimates the cost of the private charter flight at $615,000.

On Monday had a Texas sheriff has announced an investigation into the case. "I believe that someone came from outside of our state and preyed on these people and lured them with promises of a better life," said Democratic Bexar County Police Commissioner Javier Salazar. "As far as we know, 48 migrants were lured into staying in a hotel for several days under false pretenses." Then they were taken away by plane.

The US government had sharply criticized the procedure and described it as "inhuman". DeSantis, on the other hand, announced that there should be further actions. He is currently fighting for re-election.

Other Republican governors have also had large numbers in recent months migrants in democratic regions of the country - in protest against the immigration policy of the government of President Joe Biden, a Democrat, which they believe is too lax. Texas Governor Greg Abbott, for example, had two buses full of migrants brought near the residence of US Vice President Kamala Harris in the capital Washington.

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DPA
AFP



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