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On Tuesday, a civil rights law firm filed a federal class-action lawsuit against the Florida governor.Ron DeSantis and others Transported approximately 50 immigrants from San Antonio, Texas, to Martha’s Vineyard without shelter or resources.
The civil rights law firm joined immigration-led nonprofit Alianza Americas on behalf of “Vineyard immigrants and all those in similar situations who were deceptively lured into interstate travel by DeSantis and Florida,” the group said in a statement. told NPR in an email. Except for the governor. DeSantis also named Florida Transportation Secretary Jared Perdue and his associates as defendants in the lawsuit.
The legal action follows last Wednesday, when nearly 50 immigrants were taken on a plane from San Antonio to Martha’s Vineyard, Massachusetts, with a stop in Florida. They arrived without warning, with local communities scrambling to provide food, shelter and translation services. Migrants said they were not told their final destination but were promised a chance to work and live a better life.
Oscar Chacòn, executive director of Alianza Americas, said DeSantis used immigrants “to advance a hate-filled agenda.” “That’s why we have taken legal steps to challenge what we believe is not only morally reprehensible, but what we believe is also illegal,” he said.
Lawyers want to bar DeSantis and his co-defendants from “inducing immigrants to cross state lines through fraud and misrepresentation” and demand compensation for “injury suffered by immigrants.”
On Monday, Bexar County Sheriff Javier Salazar said in a news release that his office is investigating whether the immigrants were victims of crime:
The Bexar County Sheriff’s Office has launched an investigation into immigrants who were lured from an immigrant resource center in Bexar County, Texas, and flown to Florida, where they were ultimately left to fend for themselves on Martha’s Vineyard, Massachusetts.
announced in salazar Criminal investigation, DeSantis appeared on Sean Hannity’s Fox News show. The governor said the investigation was overreacting and the immigrants voluntarily chose to go to Martha’s Vineyard. He also claimed that all migrants had signed consent forms and that any condemnation of the flight was a “virtue signal”.
The governor’s office and the Florida Department of Transportation did not immediately respond to NPR’s requests for comment on the lawsuit.