BOSTON, MASSACHUSETTS — A Boston-based legal advocacy group, Lawyers for Civil Rights (LCR), filed a federal lawsuit against Florida Governor Ron DeSantis and Florida’s Transportation Department secretary on Tuesday.
The illegal immigrants, part of the group sent by plane to Martha’s Vineyard last week, are anonymous in the filing along with Alianza Americas, a transnational advocacy organization. The suit alleges the illegals were tricked into traveling to the northeast as part of a political scheme.
Lawyers used language in the suit matching reports from social media platforms including offers of Mcdonald's gift cards and offers of employment to board the flight.
Taryn Fenske, Communications Director for the Office of the Governor, told the Florida Standard, “It is opportunistic that activists would use illegal immigrants for political theater. If these activists spent even a fraction of this time and effort at the border, perhaps some accountability would be brought to the Biden Administration’s reckless border policies that entice illegal immigrants to make dangerous and often lethal journeys through Central America and put their lives in the hands of cartels and Coyotes.”
“The transportation of the immigrants to Martha’s Vineyard was done on a voluntary basis. The immigrants were homeless, hungry, and abandoned – and these activists didn’t care about them then. Florida’s program gave them a fresh start in a sanctuary state, and these individuals opted to take advantage of chartered flights to Massachusetts. It was disappointing that Martha’s Vineyard called in the Massachusetts National Guard to bus them away from the island within 48 hours,” Fenske said.
The suit alleges that “these immigrants, who are pursuing the proper channels for lawful immigration status in the United States, experienced cruelty akin to what they fled in their home country. Defendants manipulated them, stripped them of their dignity, deprived them of their liberty, bodily autonomy, due process, and equal protection under the law.”
But The Florida Standard reported that the illegal immigrants were well cared for in transit at the border in Texas and were provided with food, shelter, clothing, and other necessities.
Last week, DeSantis said, “the folks that are contracted [for the program], not only do the people give them a release form to sign, they actually give them a packet, and in that packet included a map of Martha’s Vineyard,” he said Friday. “So it was obvious that that’s where they were going.”