The high-profile migrants who flew to Martha’s Vineyard accuse DeSantis and Florida’s Department of Transportation of misusing the plight of vulnerable people for their own political interests, according to a lawsuit filed Tuesday in a Boston court.
People were lured with promises that turned out to be lies upon arrival. Governor DeSantis had unannounced last week to have several dozen refugees brought by plane to Martha’s Vineyard in the US state of Massachusetts. It is known as a posh resort.
The people had been flown to the island from the US state of Texas via Florida. DeSantis claimed they were chosen because they originally wanted to come to Florida from Texas.
“Desperate Attempt to Escape Violence”
According to the lawsuit, the lives of the refugees were “marred by violence, instability, insecurity and abuse of trust by corrupt government officials” in a way most Americans could hardly imagine. They fled to the United States as a “desperate attempt to protect themselves and their families from gang, police and state-sponsored violence and the oppression of political dissidents.” They deserved just as much dignity and compassion as anyone else.
A Texas sheriff had previously announced an investigation into the case. “I believe that someone came from outside of our state and preyed on these people and lured them with promises of a better life,” Democratic Bexar County Police Chief Javier Salazar said Monday. “As far as we know, 48 migrants were lured into staying in a hotel for several days under false pretenses.” Then they were taken away by plane.
Sharp criticism from the White House
The US government had sharply criticized the procedure and described it as “inhuman”. DeSantis, on the other hand, announced that there should be further actions. Other Republican governors had also taken large numbers of refugees to democratic regions of the country in recent months in protest against the migration policy of the government of President Joe Biden, a Democrat.
Texas Governor Greg Abbott had two buses full of migrants and refugees brought near the residence of US Vice President Kamala Harris in the capital Washington.
DeSantis and Abbott made it clear that they want to continue the transports. They say the move is necessary to draw attention to the situation on the border with Mexico. Thousands of people enter the country illegally every day. A few weeks before the midterm elections, however, they also manage to focus on an issue that is important for mobilizing the Republican electorate – and at the same time push the issue of abortion, which they consider a sensitive issue, to the sidelines.
A majority of the US population opposes radical abortion bans, such as those introduced by Republicans in some states following the overturning of the Roe v. Wade” have already been implemented or are planned by the supreme court.
The actions of the Republicans, at least in Europe, probably remind many of the actions of Belarus. The regime there had lured refugees and migrants to Belarus, some of whom had previously promised that they could get to Europe this way, and then brought them to the border with Poland in order to put political pressure on the EU. Last but not least, ruler Alexander Lukashenko wanted to take revenge for the European support of the protest movement in his country.