Wednesday, September 21, 2022

Federal Lawsuit Filed Against Gov. Ron DeSantis (R-FL) For Illegally Transporting 48 Undocumented Venezuelans Residing In Texas To Massachusetts On False Pretenses

Governor DeSantis and the State of Florida funded more than $615,000 for multiple chartered flights to illegally transport nearly 50 undocumented Venezuelans (asylum-seekers) residing in San Antonio, Texas to Massachusetts in Mid-September on false promises and pretenses, according to the federal lawsuit complaint filed by Alianza Americas and Lawyers for Civil Rights.

By H. Nelson Goodson 
Hispanic News Network U.S.A.

September 21, 2022

Boston, Massachusetts - On Tuesday, Lawyers for Civil Rights announced in a press release that a federal class action lawsuit against Florida Governor Ron DeSantis (R), Secretary of Florida Department of Transportation Secretary Jared Perdue, the State of Florida, and their accomplices, challenging the fraudulent and discriminatory scheme to transport nearly 50 vulnerable immigrants, including women and children, from San Antonio, Texas to Martha's Vineyard without shelter or resources in place. The lawsuit was filed in the United States District Court, District of Massachusetts on behalf of a class of affected immigrants, including the immigrants stranded in Martha's Vineyard, and Alianza Americas, a network of migrant-led organizations supporting immigrants across the United States. 

According to the class action lawsuit (35-pages), the class action members were targeted by a female named Perla and others who were contracted to induced the targeted Venezuelan immigrants to board airplanes and cross state lines under false pretenses.

Perla and others, the 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.

The plaintiffs who are asylum-seekers claimed that they suffered "severe emotional stress"...were left "destitute and stranded" in Massachusetts after being flown from Florida via North Carolina. They asked the court for monetary compensation for the emotional trauma that they had all suffered. 

Defendant Ronald Desantis has taken credit – and assumed responsibility – for the unlawful relocation scheme and pledged to continue this reprehensible behavior. In addition to asking the federal court to enjoin Defendants from inducing immigrants to travel across state lines by fraud and misrepresentation, the class action seeks damages for the harm suffered by the migrants, according to the federal lawsuit complaint.

Previous news reports indicated that the undocumented immigrants were flown in two charter flights on September 14, 2022 from Texas to Florida, then from Florida to North Carolina and finally from North Carolina to Martha's Vineyard, Massachusetts.

On Monday, Bexar County Sheriff Javier Salazar in San Antonio, Texas announced that he has initiated a criminal investigation against DeSantis, Perla and others involved in the illegal transport of undocumented Venezuelan immigrants.

Also, the National LULAC (League of United Latin American Citizens) is offering a $5,000 reward for the identity and the whereabouts of Perla leading to her arrest.

No comments: