Americans are split on whether or not this stunt was appropriate and beneficial.
The undocumented migrants flown to Martha’s Vineyard last week filed a class action lawsuit Tuesday against Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis and other Florida officials.
Driving the news: The migrants allege in the complaint that they were given misleading information promising cash assistance, employment services and housing assistance, which they called “bold-faced lies.”
- The nearly 50 migrants, mostly Venezuelan, said they were told they were headed to Boston and Washington, D.C., according to the complaint.
- They allege Florida officials “manufactured” an “official-looking brochure” using language from the Massachusetts Refugee Resettlement Program in order to “buttress their false oral representations … in furtherance of the conspiracy.”
- They escaped a humanitarian crisis in Venezuela only for DeSantis to use them as “pawns in a political stunt,” the complaint states.
- The migrants, who are being represented by Boston-based Lawyers for Civil Rights, say they “suffered economic, emotional, and constitutional harms” that amount to a minimum of $75,000. They’re also asking the federal court to block DeSantis from repeating his actions.
What else they’re saying: The complaint argues that the Florida officials’ conduct discriminates “on the basis of alienage” and deprives them of the equal protection of laws under the 14th Amendment.
- Florida officials have “intentionally targeted only individuals who are non-white and born outside the United States,” they allege.
- “Defendants’ actions not only offend all notions of fairness, but they also stripped Plaintiffs of their basic human dignity, in violation of due process.”
The other side: “It is opportunistic that activists would use illegal immigrants for political theater,” said Taryn Fenske, a spokesperson for DeSantis, in a statement to Axios.
- “If these activists spent even a fraction of this time and effort at the border, perhaps some accountability would be brought to the Biden Administration’s reckless border policies that entice illegal immigrants to make dangerous and often lethal journeys through Central America and put their lives in the hands of cartels and Coyotes.”
- Fenske, who attached a redacted consent form for the flight, said it was a voluntary program that gave the “homeless, hungry, and abandoned” immigrants a “fresh start in a sanctuary state.”
The big picture: Lawyers for the migrants have asked the Massachusetts attorney general and the federal government to open criminal investigations in response to the transports, which have elicited strong reactions on both sides of the aisle.
- DeSantis has said he plans to spend millions that Florida has budgeted to continue the controversial practice.
- The Biden administration is considering “litigation options” in response.
- A Texas sheriff has opened a criminal investigation into the flights.
Worth noting: American border officials have had over 2 million encounters with migrants at the U.S.-Mexico border so far this fiscal year — setting a new record after sustained surges in migration.
They’re illegal aliens…they have no grounds to sue. The left really are out of their minds. Why don’t they go to Mexico or Russia or Turkey and see what happens to illegal aliens?
The moment they report to authorities and request asylum, they are NO longer illegals. And obviously they have rights as well.
As a Floridian, I am appalled that our governor is using our tax dollars to illegally move immigrants requesting asylum from Texas to Mass (they were not even in Florida)
What I find surprising and stupid from Governor Coyote is that he depends very heavily on the naturalized Venezuelan, Cuban and Nicaraguan votes (people that also ran away from Communist Dictatorships) to get elected
I guess his white nationalist and racist nature took over his common sense.
Then why don’t you pay for these Fing people and your buddies the democrats who are letting people run rampant in this country creating all types of crimes. I flatly refuse to pay for this S when I should be taking care of my own family. People like you are unbelievable! For the record I am Sioux Indian so it isn’t white supremacy imbecile!
They’re suing DeSantis? They don’t even belong here. Ship their butts back to their own country on the governments dime. We’re already paying for this cluster F the democrats created. What a bunch of BS! Chicago’s mayor Lightfoot is pulling the same thing trying to ship them out of her sactuary city to other places. Another fiasco and disaster in this country, Chicago and the state of Illinois. Let billionaire Pritzger, the democrap governor pay for them!
They are illegals and have not been given Asylum yet. I guess you are OK with my tax dollars being used to fly them in at all hours of the night to Florida by Biden and his administration. These people need to get in the back of the immigration line and stop cutting in front of others by breaking our laws. Simple as that! Oh, I see that is different to use my tax dollar but not yours.
Martha’s Vinyard is no better than El Paso, they are just another border town in a border state. Eastern border, still a border.