A Texas sheriff announced an investigation Monday into claims that illegal migrants were allegedly “lured” into boarding flights chartered by Republican Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis to Martha’s Vineyard, Massachusetts.
Bexar County Sheriff Javier Salazar said that an illegal Venezuelan migrant allegedly was paid to “recruit” the others to board the planes “under false pretenses.” Salazar explained that he was in touch with attorney Rachel Self of Boston, adding that his office hadn’t interviewed her clients yet.
“The allegations that we’ve heard, it’s absolutely distasteful, it’s disgusting. It’s an abuse of human rights. But, I would like to find out sooner rather than later what charges if any are going to apply and to whom,” Salazar said.
“I believe there’s some criminal activity involved, but at present, we’re trying to keep an open mind and we’re going to investigate to find out, to determine what laws were broken, if that does turn out to be the case,” Salazar added.
DeSantis sent two flights of illegal migrants from Texas to the island on Wednesday. The incident sparked accusations that the illegal migrants were forced to take the transports and were misled about where they were going and what opportunities, that included jobs, they’d get upon arrival.
“Immigrants have been more than willing to leave Bexar County after being abandoned, homeless, and ‘left to fend for themselves.’ Florida gave them an opportunity to seek greener pastures in a sanctuary jurisdiction that offered greater resources for them, as we expected,” DeSantis’ Communications Director Taryn Fenske told the Daily Caller News Foundation.
The DCNF recently obtained the documents the illegal migrants were given before boarding the flights that showed their destination would be Martha’s Vineyard. A source close to the situation also told the DCNF that the illegal migrants were “asked multiple times if they wanted to go.”
“Unless the MA national guard has abandoned these individuals, they have been provided accommodations, sustenance, clothing and more options to succeed following their unfair enticement into the United States, unlike the 53 immigrants who died in a truck found abandoned in Bexar County this June,” Fenske added, referring to an incident where 53 illegal migrants died in June after being smuggled in a tractor trailer in Texas.
Salazar’s action follows similar steps taken by DeSantis’ critics, such as Democratic California Gov. Gavin Newsom, who sent a letter Thursday urging Attorney General Merrick Garland to investigate allegations of “kidnapping” and possible civil rights violations.
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