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Two Massachusetts lawmakers are calling on the U.S. Department of Justice and U.S. Attorney for Massachusetts Rachael Rollins to open an investigation into the actions by Florida and Gov. Ron DeSantis.
It’s the latest move in a growing legal response against DeSantis after he claimed responsibility for flying nearly 50 migrants from Texas to Martha’s Vineyard without them knowing where they were being dropped off.
“If you get into an Uber that says you’re going to New York and they put you in Minnesota or somewhere else, I think there’s some real legal implications there,” said State Rep. Dylan Fernandes.
Fernandes penned the letters along with State Sen. Julian Cyr. Both believe the migrants were put at risk of jeopardizing their due process with federal immigration authorities.
“We’ve heard from one woman describe the experience as being akin to being kidnapped,” noted Cyr.
The letters were issued the same week that a coalition of civil rights attorneys filed a federal class action lawsuit to try to keep states like Florida from doing this again.
Lawyers representing the roughly 50 migrants flown to Martha’s Vineyard by Florida officials last week outlined their civil class action lawsuit filed in federal court.
“We’ve seen these same patterns repeat in New York City, in Chicago, and more recently in Massachusetts,” said Alianza Americas CEO Oscar Chacon.
It also comes days after the sheriff of Bexar County, Texas, opened an investigation into the matter.
“Somebody came from out of state [and] preyed upon these people,” said Sheriff Javier Salazar.
All three parties argue the migrants were lured into boarding two charter planes in Texas by promising jobs and housing. The civil lawsuit also claimed that McDonalds gift cards and free hotels were offered by some five people in San Antonio who allegedly recruited the group from a local shelter.
“If 50 was a burden on one of the richest places in our country, what about all these other communities that have been overrun with hundreds or thousands?” DeSantis argued while speaking to a crowd of supporters.
DeSantis’ office said the migrants signed on voluntarily and that Florida offered them a fresh start when they were homeless, hungry and abandoned.
But Fernandes and Cyr don’t buy it.
“We need to make sure that the individuals who perpetuated this plot are held accountable for the full extent of the law,” said Cyr.
Rollins’ office said it did not have a comment. The Justice Department has not returned an NBC10 Boston request for comment or said if it would open an investigation.
Mass. Lawmakers Call on DOJ to Investigate DeSantis Over Migrant Flights – NBC Boston
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