Attorneys for Venezuelan asylum seekers who were shipped to Martha’s Vineyard last week by Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis are calling for a criminal probe into the “shameful political stunt.”
“We strongly imagine that criminal laws were broken by the perpetrators of this stunt,” read a letter from Boston’s Lawyers for Civil Rights sent Saturday to U.S. Attorney Rachael Rollins and Massachusetts Attorney General Maura Healey.
“This kind of conspiracy to deprive our clients of their liberty and civil rights have to be thoroughly investigated for violations … of all applicable criminal laws,” LCR demanded.
Recent York City Mayor Eric Adams also warned Sunday that he’s considering legal motion over similar human trafficking to his city by Texas Republican Gov. Greg Abbott, who has bused some 2,500 migrants to Recent York.
“Our legal team is legal challenges” against Texas, Adams said on CBS Recent York. “If you place someone [involuntarily] on a bus, we imagine that skates the law. We’re not leaving any stone unturned to ensure that Recent Yorkers are [not] being treated in an unfair way,” he added.
The Venezuelan victims in Massachusetts were “induced to board planes and cross state lines under false pretenses,” landing removed from where they’d intended to be, in response to LCR.
The group, which is representing 30 of the 48 people flown from Texas to the Massachusetts vacation Island Wednesday, charged that “individuals, working in concert with state officials, including the Florida governor, made quite a few false guarantees [to the migrants] – including work opportunities, education for his or her children … with a view to induce them to travel.” They only learned of their true destination mid-flight, LCR noted.
They were conned in what amounted to a coordinated political “stunt” targeting vulnerable people as young as two years old, “based on their race and country of origin,” LCR wrote. The asylum seekers were “deprived of their liberty” by deception, the lawyers argued. The ruse moreover interfered with their clients’ ability to “comply with federal immigration obligations, equivalent to attendance at hearings.”
The “cowardly” ploy reportedly placed their clients “in peril.” Upon arrival, various individuals needed to be “rushed to the hospital, in need of medical care. Some now have immigration hearings as early as Monday 1000’s of miles away,” LCR said.
For the reason that DeSantis ploy, Abbott has sent two groups totaling some 150 asylum seekers — including a month-old baby — from his state to Vice President Kamala Harris’ house.
The stunt could backfire on Republican governors attempting to “weaponize” human beings within the political clash. DeSantis, particularly, could face a significant voter backlash in his state, home of the biggest Venezuelan community within the nation.
Members of Florida’s Venezuelan community and supporters have roundly slammed DeSantis for his actions.
“Immigrants, especially in Florida, are a fundamental a part of the local growth and economy,” local Venezuelan journalist Carlos Bohorquez told The Tampa Bay Times. “Attempting to ignore our immigrants fleeing cruel regimes is an inhumane act.”