December 2, 2022

Three non-profit immigrant rights organizations have filed a lawsuit in the Southern District of Florida against Republican Gov. Ron DeSantis and Florida Transportation Secretary Jared Perdue, claiming that the state is "infringing upon the federal government's immigration system by creating a separate, parallel immigration system."

September 21, 2022

Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis' controversial scheme to fly migrants to Martha's Vineyard has brought immigration front and center for Massachusetts politicians.

September 20, 2022

Sheriff Javier Salazar of Bexar County, Texas, announced a criminal investigation Tuesday into the effort spearheaded by Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis (R) to secretly fly 48 Venezuelan asylum-seekers from San Antonio to Martha's Vineyard last week. "What infuriates me most about this case is that here we have 48 people that are already on hard times, they are here legally in our country," Salazar said. "Somebody came from out of state, preyed upon these people, lured them with promises of a better life," then "unceremoniously stranded" them for "nothing more than political posturing" and a "photo op." "I believe there is some criminal activity involved here," Salazar said. "But at present we are trying to keep an open mind and we are going to investigate to find out what exact laws were broken, if that does turn out to be the case." "Our thinking was early on if they were lured under false pretenses, it could be a crime," Bexar County Judge Nelson Wolff said. "If you think about what smugglers do, it's not much different." DeSantis told Fox News host Sean Hannity on Monday night the Venezuelan migrants "all signed consent forms to go" and were given "a packet that had a map of Martha's Vineyard" and contact numbers for aid organizations. Journalist Judd Legum was given a copy of the brochure the migrants received, falsely promising cash, housing, and job placement. 4. Popular Information, however, has obtained a brochure that was provided to the migrants who agreed to the flights. The brochure says that migrants will be eligible for numerous benefits, including "8 months cash assistance," "assistance with housing," and "job placement" pic.twitter.com/dx0jRmrmc8— Judd Legum (@JuddLegum) September 19, 2022 6. Matt Cameron, a Boston-based immigration attorney, explained that migrants who boarded the planes "absolutely do not have access to cash, housing, and other resettlement benefits"https://t.co/MXdhOY0s89 pic.twitter.com/aDgI2x6r2y— Judd Legum (@JuddLegum) September 19, 2022 DeSantis spokeswoman Taryn Fenske said "immigrants have been more than willing to leave Bexar County," and "Florida gave them an opportunity to seek greener pastures in a sanctuary jurisdiction that offered greater resources for them, as we expected." (Florida has a vibrant Venezuelan migrant community, but perhaps no green pastures.) Charlie Crist, DeSantis' Democratic challenger, called the flights an expensive "state-sponsored human trafficking scheme." San Antonio Archbishop Gustavo García-Siller appeared to agree, and he roped in migrant-bus instigator Texas Gov. Greg Abbott (R) — like DeSantis, a Catholic. "To use migrants and refugees as pawns offends God, destroys society, and shows how low individuals can be for personal gains," García-Siller tweeted. "These tactics — buses — promote human trafficking." Miami Archbishop Thomas Wenski said "reports of Florida involvement in transporting migrants from Texas to Martha's Vineyard are disconcerting," adding that "any action to transport persons under false pretenses and leave them stranded with no assistance would be to diminish their human dignity and objectify them."

September 15, 2022

Florida's governor Ron DeSantis is taking credit for sending two planes to the Massachusetts island.

September 1, 2022

Texas has spent nearly $13 million transporting migrants to New York City and Washington, D.C., according to the Texas Division of Emergency Management. As of Aug. 9, Texas paid charter company Wynne Transportation $12.7 million to bus thousands of migrants to the East Coast, CNN reported Wednesday, citing a spreadsheet obtained through an open records request. The Division of Emergency Management confirmed those numbers to several news organizations. Gov. Greg Abbott's (R) office said more than 7,400 willing migrants have been bused to D.C. and more than 1,500 to New York since April, meaning his administration is spending about $1,400 per migrant to transport. "Comparatively, a one-way, same-day ticket on a Greyhound bus from El Paso costs $291 to New York City and $324 to Washington, D.C.," the El Paso Times reports. "Same-day flights to either destination are under $400." Abbott has requested private donations to offset the cost to taxpayers, but had received just $167,828 as of Aug. 17, CNN reports.  Abbott rolled out the busing program as part of his multibillion-dollar Operation Lone Star border initiative. He said Wednesday that Chicago has been added to the list of destination cities. Critics of the program call it an election-year political stunt, and New York and D.C. leaders have indicated their displeasure, but Rep. Veronica Escobar (D-Texas) said it's actually a pretty good deal for the migrants themselves. "It is usually the responsibility of released migrants to cover the cost of their travel throughout the U.S. as their asylum cases are pending in court," CNN notes. Abbot's goal is "to demonize migrants and incite fear among Americans," but his "busing strategy has brought them closer to their destinations and saved them travel costs," Escobar told the El Paso Times. "In reality, providing transportation to migrants when coordinated with NGOs to cities with capacity to help is a glimpse into what humanitarian support systems could look like in America if we prioritized assistance and community-based services to those arriving at our nation's front door."



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