Migrants flown to Mass. may remain anonymous; DeSantis could face additional lawsuit

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Migrants flown to Mass. may remain anonymous; DeSantis could face additional lawsuit

02:21

MIAMI – The lawsuit on behalf of migrants flown to Massachusetts now has a first ruling. A federal judge has decided the identities of the plaintiffs may remain anonymous. Their lawyers say they have already been receiving threats.

The lawyers of the migrants say they have already been receiving threats.

“We are talking about a man that was tortured and rendered toothless while kidnapped his teeth were pulled with pliers, we are talking about children who arrived on the island in need of medical attention,” Mirian Albert, Lawyers for Civil Rights in Boston.

Lawyers for Civil Rights and Alianza Americas filed the class action lawsuit against Governor Ron DeSantis Tuesday, the state transportation secretary as well as the State of Florida for an “illegal scheme” to transport 50 migrants last week.  

“Early this morning the federal court in Boston granted the motion to proceed anonymously scoring the first victory for migrants who have experienced human rights violations,” Ivan Espinoza-Madrigal, another lawyer with LCR said.  

Shortly after the lawsuit was filed, the governor’s office released the consent documents migrants signed. 

Though the English version does mention Massachusetts, the Spanish translation did not.  His communications director, Taryn Fenske also wrote, “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.”

The form didn’t give much detail about what would happen once the migrants reached their final destination.

“It was missing material, information would have been needed for our clients to make an informed decision, and to provide consent,” Espinoza-Madrigal explained.

The lawsuit also mentions the migrants were deceived by officials promising help for refugees, told to sign gift cards, and the plaintiffs said they would not have gone if they knew the truth.  It also alleges the actions to move the migrants were violations of the 4th and 14th Amendments.  

The group working on behalf of the migrants now hope they can stop this from happening again, “We are seeking a nationwide to block Governor DeSantis and Florida from engaging in these activities which endanger human lives,” Espinoza-Madrigal added.

No date has yet been set on a hearing for an injunction.  

Meanwhile, a state senator tells CBS4 news he’s hours away from taking legal action against Gov. DeSantis.

Jason Pizzo of Miami says he will file a lawsuit to block DeSantis from transporting any more migrants from the southern border to other states. 

Pizzo says the DeSantis’ administration broke state law. 

He says that a legal challenge seeking an emergency injunction is “imminent” and he’s is hoping for a hearing by the end of the week.

Migrants flown to Mass. may remain anonymous; DeSantis could face additional lawsuit

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