Governor’s office releases documents after migrants flown to Martha’s Vineyard

ORLANDO, Fla. — There is new fallout in the case of 50 migrants who were flown from Texas to Massachusetts.


Three of the Venezuelan migrants, including an 11-year-old child, have filed a federal lawsuit against Gov. Ron DeSantis after he used more than $600,000 of taxpayer money to pay for the flight.

On Wednesday, the governor’s office released documents after days of silence.

Last week, Channel 9 requested documents about the flights, as well as any video captured by DeSantis’ team while on the plane.

READ: Migrants flown to Martha’s Vineyard sue Gov. DeSantis in federal court

That full request has gone unanswered, but just hours after the governor was sued in federal court, his office produced a signed waiver from one of the migrants, indicating they had a measure of approval for the transport from San Antonio to Martha’s Vineyard.

Read the document below:

Attorney Mirian Albert has joined other immigration lawyers on Wednesday, laying out their federal case against DeSantis who, according to their court filing, was responsible not just for the flight, but how the 50 Venezuelan migrants were recruited in San Antonio, including promising them gift cards and then telling them they were going to Boston or Washington, D.C. before abandoning them at an airport in Martha’s Vineyard.

“For nearly a week now, lawyers for civil rights has been working with approximately 50 immigrants who were deceived,” Albert said.

READ: Texas sheriff opens investigation into DeSantis’ role in flying migrants to Martha’s Vineyard

Ultimately, a court will decide if what was done violates the law, and if Gov. DeSantis misrepresented what was happening in order to transport people across the lines. The lawsuit seeks damages with attorneys also asking the court to stop these flights.

DeSantis’ staff put out a statement that reads in full:

“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.”

READ: Surprise is key part of migrant travel from Florida, Texas

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Adam Poulisse, WFTV.com

Adam Poulisse joined WFTV in November 2019.