'Premeditated, fraudulent, and illegal': Ron DeSantis sued by migrants he shuttled to Martha's Vineyard

'Premeditated, fraudulent, and illegal': Ron DeSantis sued by migrants he shuttled to Martha's Vineyard
United States Air National Guard photo by Master Sgt. William Buchanan.

Florida GOP Governor Ron DeSantis is being sued in a federal civil rights class action lawsuit after sending 50 asylum seekers from Venezuela who were reportedly falsely enticed to board planes in Texas with promises of food, cash, housing, education and jobs assistance, and a trip to Boston, to Martha’s Vineyard in “a premeditated, fraudulent, and illegal scheme,” the lawsuit filed in Boston alleges.

The lawsuit names the GOP Florida governor along with Florida Department of Transportation Secretary Jared Perdue, the Florida Department of Transportation, the State of Florida, and five ‘unidentified accomplices,’ The Boston Globe reports.

Defendants “designed and executed a premeditated, fraudulent, and illegal scheme centered on exploiting” the vulnerability of the immigrants, who “fled to the United States in a desperate attempt to protect themselves and their families from gang, police, and state-sponsored violence and the oppression of political dissent,” the Globe reports the lawsuit charges.

READ MORE: ‘Onesie-Twosies’: DeSantis Declares Florida Not Seeing ‘Mass’ Migration in Defense for Going to Texas for Immigrants

“These cowardly government actors must be held accountable for their clear misuse of government power,” Jacob Love, a staff attorney for the group that filed the lawsuit, Lawyers for Civil Rights (LCR).

The asylum seekers “were targeted and induced to board airplanes and cross state lines under false pretenses,” LCR says in a press release. “Accomplices of state officials, including the Florida Governor, targeted immigrants recently released from shelters and made false promises of work opportunities, schooling for the children, and immigration assistance in order to induce travel. Until immediately before landing, the affected immigrants did not know they were going to Martha’s Vineyard, a geographically isolated island off the coast of Massachusetts. Once the planes landed in Martha’s Vineyard those who had coerced individuals to travel under these false pretenses disappeared, leaving the affected immigrants to learn that the offers of assistance had all been a ruse to exploit them for political purposes.”

Oscar Chacòn, Executive Director of Alianza Americas, which has been working with the immigrants adds: “For the Governor of Florida to cynically use recently arrived immigrants who have applied for asylum in the U.S. to advance a hate-driven agenda intended to create confusion and rejection throughout the country, is not only morally despicable, but utterly contrary to the best traditions of humanitarian protection embraced by most Americans.”

READ MORE: ‘They Said They Wanted This’: DeSantis on Defense Heads to Hannity Over Sending Asylum Seekers to Martha’s Vineyard

On Tuesday Gov. DeSantis, defended his action of going out-of-state to find immigrants by saying there is not mass migration into Florida.

They said they wanted this,” the Florida governor, referring to the people of Martha’s Vineyard said on Monday, “they said they were a sanctuary jurisdiction,” he claimed.

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