The 50 migrants who were flown in to Martha’s Vineyard, Massachusetts, on Wednesday under a program sponsored by Florida Governor Ron DeSantis should be considered victims of kidnapping according to Rachel Self an immigration lawyer from Boston. Self claims that migrants “were lied to again and again and fraudulently induced to board the planes.”
Self, said accounts from the migrants “make it clear that they were lied to again and again and fraudulently induced to board the planes.”
Most of the migrants, including children, have fled from crisis-torn Venezuela. While migrants from other countries who have crossed the U.S. southern border this year were quickly expelled under a pandemic-related health order, Venezuelans do not fall under that order..
Self stated that the migrants were promised jobs and housing on their arrival, while Martha’s Vineyard barely has the facilities to accommodate them. DeSantis is said to have allocated $12 million of the state’s budget to transport them outside of Florida. Self said Florida authorities also “very intentionally chose not to call ahead to any single office authority on the island so that even the most basic human needs arrangements could be made, ensuring that no help awaited the migrants at all was the entire point. [snip] We believe they are victims of kidnapping, and the perpetrators of this breathtakingly cruel political stunt should know that it may well result in every individual who was induced onto those planes by fraud becoming eligible for a U visa,” Self wrote in a statement she read to reporters.
California Governor Gavin Newsom, a Democrat, has asked the Department of Justice (DoJ) to investigate whether the “transporting families, including children, across state lines under false pretenses” was illegal and in particular whether it constituted “kidnapping.”\
“Several of the individuals who were transported to Martha’s Vineyard have alleged that a recruiter induced them to accept the offer of travel based on false representations that they would be transported to Boston and would receive expedited access to work authorization,” Newsom wrote in a letter to Attorney General Merrick Garland. “I urge US DOJ to investigate whether the alleged fraudulent inducement would support charges of kidnapping under relevant state laws.
Illinois Gov. J.B. Pritzker, a Democrat, said on Wednesday that state authorities were looking into whether there was any “criminal liability” involved in the transport of migrants to Chicago, deeming the transport a political “stunt.”: “I’m not going to mince words here: The governor of Texas is forcing on New York and D.C. and Chicago and potentially other places a needlessly last minute and complex process that is a heartless display of politics over people,” Pritzker said, the Chicago-Tribune reports. “Why not give reasonable notice? Why send these folks only to blue cities or blue states? Why isn’t Abbott sending refugees to Mississippi or Oklahoma or Idaho? This is about politics for him.”
Stop and watch this video.— John Scott-Railton (@jsrailton) September 16, 2022
Whatever you thought about the governors' stunt… it turns out it was worse.pic.twitter.com/GASpsChOzl