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'A cruel political show' Hispanic community leaders denounce DeSantis

Top Democrats joined community leaders in slamming the decision to fly migrants to Massachusetts
Immigration DeSantis Flights
Posted at 4:19 PM, Sep 21, 2022
and last updated 2022-09-21 18:46:08-04

Hispanic community leaders on Wednesday slammed the decision by Governor Ron DeSantis to fly 48 Venezuelan migrants from Texas to Martha’s Vineyard, Massachusetts.

“That is not the America we all came to looking for a better life,” said Adelys Ferro, Director of the Venezuelan American Caucus out of Miami.

Ferro joined Democratic gubernatorial candidate Charlie Crist, state Sen. Annette Taddeo along with other community leaders to express their outrage.

“Ron, you trafficked these people,” Crist said during the virtual press conference.

“You lied to them. You spent our tax money flying them across the country. Now, because of you Floridians are left holding the bag for your games.”

Crist called the move a “vile political stunt.”

The migrants were seeking asylum from Venezuela, when they were offered flights from San Antonio, TX to Martha’s Vineyard.

Ferro says the Governor is being hypocritical by condemning the socialist dictatorship in Venezuela, while at the same time shipping the asylum seekers across the country.

“We want to remind Gov. Ron DeSantis that all asylum seekers must be treated with dignity and respect. And not as pawns in his cruel and horrific political games,” said Ferro.

“Many immigrants who have not got their work permit yet, their TPS or their asylum, they are wondering, ‘will I be next?’”

The Governor’s office has said the migrants got on the planes voluntarily.

The flights, which cost the state around $615,000, were part of a $12 million budget allocation for migrant relocation.

“All we’re trying to do is offer transport to the sanctuary destinations, free to the alien, but

certainly not mandatory,” DeSantis said last week about the flights.

The Governor’s office also says the migrants signed consent forms.

But immigration attorney Elizabeth Ricci says if the migrants were promised jobs or better lives, then the relocation could be criminal.

“The enticement to go somewhere because of better jobs or opportunities falls squarely in the definition of trafficking,” Ricci said.

The Sheriff of Bexar County, Texas announced this week he’s opening a criminal investigation into the situation.

Some of the Venezuelan migrants flown to Massachusetts have sued DeSantis and his transportation secretary.