DeSantis Fires Back Against ‘Political Theater’ After Martha’s Vineyard Migrants File Lawsuit

Ron DeSantis’ staff dismissed as “political theater” a report that the Florida governor’s administration is being targeted in a lawsuit by a civil rights group for sending about 50 immigrants to the vacation island of Martha’s Vineyard in Massachusetts last week.

The lawsuit was filed by Boston-based Lawyers for Civil Rights. The plaintiffs are three Venezuelan migrants who were part of the group brought to Martha’s Vineyard, their family members and Alianza Americas, a Chicago-based group that advocates for Latino immigrant communities in the United States, Poltico reported.

The lawsuit names DeSantis and other Florida officials, including Jared Perdue, the state’s Secretary of Transportation, as defendants. It is alleged that DeSantis and others have “executed a deliberate, fraudulent, and illegal scheme focused on exploiting this vulnerability for the sole purpose of furthering their own personal, financial, and political interests.”

But the DeSantis office has criticized the lawsuit, calling it “political theatre,” The Hill reported.

In a tweet Tuesday, Julio Rosas, a senior City Hall writer, released the full statement by DeSantis communications director Taryn Feske regarding the lawsuit and the issues surrounding the transportation of the immigrants to Massachusetts.


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“It is opportunistic for activists to use illegal immigrants for political theater,” Feske said in a statement.

“If these activists were to spend even a fraction of that time and effort at the border, perhaps some responsibility would be taken for the Biden administration’s ruthless border policies, which lure illegal immigrants into making dangerous and often fatal journeys across Central America and.” putting their lives in danger at the hands of cartels and coyotes,” Feske’s statement added.

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Feske also pointed out that the immigrants being transported to Martha’s Vineyard signed an informed consent form before boarding the planes. The consent form was even included as evidence in Feske’s statement.

“I agree to indemnify the benefactor or its designated agents from any and all liability arising out of or in any way related to injury and damage that may occur during the agreed transportation to locations outside of Texas to the final destination in Massachusetts ‘ read the consent form that Rosas also included in his tweet.

However, the lawsuit alleged that DeSantis and those who were part of the plan to send the migrants to Massachusetts violated the Fourth and Fourteenth Amendments.

The Fourth Amendment protects individuals from unreasonable searches and seizures. But the lawsuit claimed that “[b]By fraudulently enticing individual plaintiffs to cross state lines in the manner described herein, the defendants unreasonably seized the plaintiffs without good cause.”

“In particular, after each plaintiff boarded the aircraft and was airborne, the plaintiffs were unable to exit the aircraft and were placed in that state by false promises and false statements. This constitutes an administrative cessation of the plaintiffs’ freedom of movement through intentional means,” the lawsuit continued.


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Meanwhile, the 14th Amendment states that “No State shall deprive any person of life, liberty, or property without due process of law.”

The lawsuit alleged that “[b]By fraudulently enticing individual plaintiffs to board a plane and cross state lines in the manner described here, the defendants committed a egregious abuse of power that deprived individual plaintiffs of their liberty in a conscience-shaking manner.”

It also claimed that the DeSantis and other authorities posed as wanting to help the migrants, but were actually “trying to use them as props in a political stunt,” and that the “actions not only went against all notions of fairness but they have also deprived the plaintiffs of their basic human dignity in violation of due process.”

In light of all of these allegations, the lawsuit has stated that it seeks damages for the plaintiffs and also requests that the court formally stop DeSantis and the other named defendants from “tricking immigrants into traveling across state lines through fraud and misrepresentation.”

But as the DeSantis office pointed out, transportation to Martha’s Vineyard was voluntary and Florida authorities were trying to help immigrants get to a “sanctuary state,” The Hill reported.

“The immigrants were homeless, hungry and abandoned – and these activists didn’t take care of them at the time. Florida’s program gave them a fresh start in a haven, and these individuals chose to charter flights to Massachusetts,” Feske said in a statement.

“It was disappointing that Martha’s Vineyard called the Massachusetts National Guard to bus her off the island within 48 hours,” the statement added.

Martha’s Vineyard billed itself as a “sanctuary” during the administration of former President Donald Trump, WBNS-TV reported.

DeSantis has also said that no laws were broken in transporting the immigrants and that he plans to further advance Florida’s $12 million program to transport “unlawful aliens” to places that have announced openness to immigrants, NBC News reported .

“These are just the initial efforts,” DeSantis said Friday, CNN reported.

“We have infrastructure in place now,” DeSantis added. “A lot will still happen.” DeSantis Fires Back Against ‘Political Theater’ After Martha’s Vineyard Migrants File Lawsuit

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