- Migrants flown to Martha’s Vineyard were given pamphlets falsely promising cash and job placement services.
- They were flown to the island of Massachusetts by Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis as a political stunt.
- Civil rights attorneys are seeking a criminal investigation.
Migrants flown to Martha’s Vineyard in an anti-liberal political stunt by Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis received pamphlets falsely promising cash assistance, job placement services and more, according to their attorneys.
The Boston-based civil rights attorneys, who represent about 30 of the immigrants who were flown to Martha’s Vineyard, Shared links to brochure photos via twitter. The group says the migrants received the pamphlet “at some point during their deportation and resettlement from Texas and Florida.”
The reference to the Florida move is unclear as the DeSantis office had previously confirmed that the planes were chartered to transport the 50 migrants from Texas and not Florida. Civil rights attorneys and the DeSantis office did not immediately respond to a request for comment.
NPR previously reported that a woman, who identified the migrants as “Perla,” promised them a work permit in Boston, but links to the pamphlet’s photos were posted to Twitter on Monday and reported by Popular Information.
Immigration attorney Matt Cameron told the publication that the benefits in the pamphlet are resettlement benefits for refugees who are referred by the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees and are eligible to reside in the United States, but they stand by the Asylum is not available to migrants who are still seeking asylum in Massachusetts.
The Massachusetts Refugee Benefits brochure describes benefits such as “up to 8 months cash assistance,” “job placement, retention, and upgrade services,” “housing assistance,” food, clothing, and more.
Civil rights attorneys also filed their motions for a federal and Massachusetts criminal investigation into DeSantis’ decision to transport the migrants who the governor’s office said were brought to Cape Cod for “housing and humanitarian assistance.” .
“Our customers have been tricked into boarding planes and crossing state lines under false pretenses,” they claimed in both letters. “Working with the Florida governor, individuals have made numerous false promises to our customers, including job opportunities, schooling for their children, and immigration assistance to entice them to travel.”
In mid-air, they wrote, their customers learned they were headed to Martha’s Vineyard and not Boston, and those who had “causing” them to travel under “those false pretenses” disappeared, so our customers needed to know that the offers of help were all a cunning to instrumentalize them for political ends.”
Lawyers say many of their clients were staying in hotels, paid for by those who provided false information, until there were enough people to fill the planes. They have documentary evidence, including photographs that should allow law enforcement to track down suspected perpetrators, as well as documents that their clients were required to sign, they wrote.
“This type of conspiracy to deprive our clients of their liberty and civil rights and to interfere with federal immigration processes must be thoroughly investigated for criminal violations,” they wrote.
DeSantis said the migrants were transported voluntarily and they knew where they were going because they signed a waiver and were given a map of Martha’s Vineyard, according to CNN.