DeSantis news latest: Martha’s Vineyard migrant survived torture in Mexico as Delaware flight ‘scam’ revealed

Related video: More Migrants Arrive In DC As White House Slams Republican Governors

A group of 48 mostly Venezeulan migrants transported from Texas in a surprise flight to Martha’s Vineyard last week have sued Governor Florida Governor Ron DeSantis and his administration for allegedly orchestrating a “fraudulent and discriminatory” scheme.

The class action lawsuit comes as at least two law enforcement agencies are also investigating the governor’s plans for allegedly “luring” migrants with false promises of employment and financial assistance.

After the DeSantis administration dismissed reports of a second flight, this time to Delaware, migrants in San Antonio told the Miami-Herald how they were lured to scheduled flight to the state with false promises of employment and aid before it was abruptly canceled.

In the days after the flights, in interviews and in court documents, stories of the migrants and their harrowing journeys to the US-Mexico border have surfaced, including one man’s alleged torture and abuse at the hands of drug cartels.

Governor DeSantis and his aides have repeatedly defended sending migrants to Democratic-leading states and cities in protest of what they characterize as the president’s “open border” policy.

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Tragic photo shows child migrants from Guatemala at US border alone with phone numbers written on shirt

On Wednesday, US border patrol agents encountered two Guatemalan brothers, aged two and six, who had crossed into the US without their families, with the names and phone numbers of their US contacts written on their shirts.

The boys were part of a larger group of 18 migrants from Honduras, Guatemala, and Cuba encountered by agents near La Grulla, Texas, in the far south of the state in the Rio Grande Valley area.

“Many of the unaccompanied children encountered by Border Patrol are very young and unable to provide names or phone numbers of family members,” the agency said in a news release.

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Massachusetts lawmaker: Migrant families ‘incredibly grateful’ following move to Cape Cod shelter

Massachusetts state representative Dylan Fernandes, who represents Martha’s Vineyard, told The Independent that the Venezuelan immigrants who arrived on the island are “incredibly grateful” for the community support, and are in good health following a move to a larger Cape Cod shelter.

“Everyone’s needs are more than met,” he told The Independent on Thursday, one week after their surprise arrival in the state.

“Every person…has their own space, families have their own space. There’s a lot of access to health care, and including dental health and other types of care, like crisis management and mental health,” he said.

Caseworkers from housing organizations are helping them with longer-term housing solutions, and immigration attorneys also are assisting with their asylum cases and navigating their legal status and resource while in the US.

“The people who are there are in good spirits and good health and are deeply appreciative,” he said.

Several people have moved out of the shelter and headed to New York City, among other destinations, where they have contacts.

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Migrants were injured, kidnapped and victims of abuse, according to volunteers

Venezuelan migrants seeking asylum in the US survived injuries, torture and kidnapping during their dangerous trek to the US-Mexico border, according to volunteers who offered support at a shelter on Martha’s Vineyard.

“What they had to go through is horrible,” according to Sergio Racig, who told the Martha’s Vineyard Times that he spent the night with a group of men at the church where the migrants slept during a two-night stay on the island after unannounced flights from Texas chartered by Florida Governor Ron DeSantis had taken them.

One man was “kidnapped in Mexico,” according to Mr Racig, who described a man with a broken jaw and missing teeth. Another man had injuries from climbing a train.

The men were among the group of about 50 mostly Venezuelan migrants who arrived on the island – among kidnapping and trafficking victims, children and other survivors of abuse who have been sent from Texas to cities across the US.

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DeSantis aides said Democrats and the media fell for ‘disinformation’ about the Delaware flights. But migrants said they were left behind

Days after a group of migrants boarded plans chartered by Florida Governor Ron DeSantis from Texas to Martha’s Vineyard, a woman was recruiting other migrants to board another flight – this time from San Antonio to Delaware.

While the governor was on Fox News defending his Massachusetts scheme, another group of migrants were in their hotel rooms, preparing for what they were told would be a flight to Delaware, where they would receive financial assistance and employment.

The flight was abruptly cancelled. Officials and aid groups were standing by all day to welcome migrants they expected to arrive at a small airport in coastal Delaware. DeSantis’s aides said the media and Democrats fell for disinformation and got “punked.”

Migrants, meanwhile, were back to fending for themselves in San Antonio after being lured to hotels with false promises of a fresh start.

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ICYMI: Ron DeSantis chartered migrant flights from GOP donor

An aviation company hired by the administration donated thousands of dollars to Republican causes – including the governor’s campaign and a state lawmaker central to his legislative agenda.

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Beto O’Rourke slams ‘cruel and unkind’ migrant flights

Beto O’Rourke, who will face against incumbent Republican Greg Abbot in the Texas governor’s race this fall, condemned the governor’s “stunts” of sending hundreds of migrants from the state to cities across the Us.

He said: “What I propose is instead of these stunts, which are so cruel and unkind, not just to those migrants, but to those of us who live in Texas, to the border patrol agents, who we put on their backs this entire immigration system that is so badly broken [is] what if instead, we had a Texas based guest worker program or the ability to join family and not wait 20 years in line?

“What if Texas led the way in rewriting our immigration laws to reflect our values, our interests and our needs, and we said, ‘Look, if you want to come to this country, you must follow our laws’, but our laws will follow our values”. I want Texas to lead on that.”

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Jon Stewart blasts DeSantis over ‘d***ish’ migrant flights

The former host of TheDailyShow and the man behindThe Problem with Jon Stewart host said Ron DeSantis’s “stunt” to remove migrants from Texas and send them hundreds of thousands away to Martha’s Vineyard “did exactly what he wanted it to do”

The plan “jumped his profile, made him a hero amongst those for whom d***ishness is one of those sole characteristics that they’re looking for in their leaders,” he said.

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ICYMI: Texas sheriffs says migrants were ‘exploited and hoodwinked’ as he opens probe into DeSantis flights

Announcing an investigation into last week’s migrant flights from San Antonio to Martha’s Vineyard, Bexar County Sheriff Javier Salazar of Texas condemned what he called “political posturing” to remove migrants from the state.

“What infuriates me the most about this case is that here we have 48 people who are already on hard times, they are here legally in the country at that point,” he said during a press conference on Monday.

“They have every right to be where they are, and I believe they were preyed upon – somebody came from out of state, preyed upon these people, lured them with promises of a better life, which is what they were absolutely looking for, with the knowledge that they were going to cling to whatever hope they could be offered… to just be exploited and hoodwinked into making this trip,” he said.

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Migrants sent to Martha’s Vineyard were given brochures with false promises of aid and jobs. Who made them?

People seeking asylum in the US were handed official-looking documents before boarding flights to Massachusetts booked by Florida Governor Ron DeSantis.

But the Massachusetts refugee agency named on the brochues did not make them. The DeSantis administration won’t say who did, but the governor has defended them.

The brochures are part of a class action lawsuit filed by a group of migrants from Venezuela who arrived on the island last week. Lawyers are demanding answers.

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Fact check: Ron DeSantis distorts immigration facts as he defends migrant flights

How “historic” is the current border situation? Is Joe Biden creating an “open border” that’s responsible for these trends? And were the migrants on the Martha’s Vineyard flight in the US illegally?

Here’s what you need to know, from The Independent‘s Josh Marcus:

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