A Texas sheriff has opened an investigation into whether a group of migrants were “lured” aboard flights from San Antonio to Massachusetts last week.
The flights, widely derided as a political stunt devised by Florida Republican Governor Ron DeSantis against Democratic “sanctuary” policies, have been criticized internationally after reports that migrants and their families have been deceptively boarded on planes outside the United States. state were collected after they applied for asylum in the US.
Bexar County Sheriff Javier Salazar’s Office announced on Sept. 19 that his office is working with “lawyers representing the victims, as well as advocacy groups related to this incident.”
“We are also preparing to work with all federal agencies that have concurrent jurisdiction, should the need arise,” said a statement from his office.
The investigation is the first law enforcement agency to push for requests from immigration attorneys, attorneys and lawmakers to investigate allegations of fraud and kidnapping, among other things.
“What irritates me the most about this case is that we have 48 people here who are already struggling, they are legally in the country at the time,” Sheriff Salazar said at a news conference Monday.
“They have every right to be where they are, and I believe they were harassed – someone came from out of state, harassed these people, lured them with promises of a better life, and that’s what they’re definitely looking for were, knowing that they would cling to every hope they could get… just to be exploited and tricked into making this journey,” he said.
Sheriff Salazar condemned what he called “political stance” of sending migrants out of the state.
Texas Governor Greg Abbott has also bussed thousands of migrants from the state in protest at what GOP officials have characterized as President Joe Biden’s “open border” agenda.
In letters to U.S. Attorney Rachael Rollins and Massachusetts Attorney General Maura Healey, the Boston-based legal group Lawyers for Civil Rights argued that “individuals, in concert with the Governor of Florida, have made numerous false promises to our clients.” including job opportunities, education for their children, and immigration assistance, to encourage them to travel.”
The legal group, which represents 30 of the migrants sent to Martha’s Vineyard last week, said passengers were told the plane would not land on the small island off the coast of Massachusetts — not Boston — until the flight was halfway through. -sky.
“Once the planes landed, those who led our clients to travel under these false pretenses disappeared, leaving our clients to discover that the aid being offered had all been a ruse to exploit them for political purposes,” Lawyers for Civil said. rights.
Many of the group’s customers were also held in hotels, according to lawyers, until the flights were filled and booked.
“This kind of conspiracy to deprive our clients of their liberty and civil rights and disrupt federal immigration procedures must be thoroughly investigated for criminal law violations,” they wrote.
After the flights arrived unannounced at Martha’s Vineyard, community organizations and state and local agencies mobilized to provide shelter and assistance. On Friday, the state opened a larger reception facility with separate rooms, medical and legal assistance at Joint Base Cape Cod on the mainland.