A group Venezuelan migrants sent by Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis (R) lured from Texas and moved to Massachusetts last week, filed a class action lawsuit Tuesday against the governor and others involved in the settlement, saying the officials were defrauding them and giving them “economic, emotional , and constitutional damage” as part of a reckless political stunt.
The lawsuit filed in a US court in Massachusetts was filed by three of the approximately 50 migrants. The court documents identify them as Yanet Doe, who boarded the plane with her husband, 11-year-old son and other family members; Pablo Doe, who was lured on board with his two brothers; and Jesus Doe.
“These immigrants, who are pursuing proper channels for legal immigration status in the United States, have experienced atrocities comparable to what they fled in their home countries,” the lawsuit said.
The lawsuit accuses DeSantis of violating Fourth Amendment protections against unreasonable seizures and 14th Amendment protections against depriving people of their freedoms and due process, among several other violations.
“Defendants have manipulated them, deprived them of their dignity, deprived them of their liberty, physical autonomy, due process and equal legal protection, and improperly interfered with the federal government’s exclusive control over immigration for the furtherance of an unlawful purpose. and a personal political agenda,” it continues.
In addition to DeSantis, who took credit for moving the migrants with state money, the lawsuit is against the state of Florida, the Florida Department of Transportation, agency secretary Jared Perdue and five unidentified people involved in the act. getting on planes from the migrants.
The lawsuit echoes many of the alleged details of the stunt that have emerged in recent days: Migrants, many of them from Venezuela, who were legally seeking asylum in the US, were lured from a migrant center in Texas by hired scouts offering food gift cards. free hotel rooms and the promise that they would get legal work papers if they boarded planes they were told were headed for Washington, DC and Boston.
The plaintiffs in the lawsuit all said they were approached and lured by a woman who introduced herself as Perla.
In reality, the migrants were dropped off on Martha’s Vineyard — a prosperous, isolated island in Massachusetts accessible only by plane or boat — and received nothing of the job, housing, education or immigration assistance the scouts had promised. No one on Martha’s Vineyard or in the state of Massachusetts expected their arrival.
“They were left in the dark, with nothing, on an island asphalt,” the lawsuit said.
Shortly before the planes landed, migrants on board said they had received a brochure titled “Massachusetts Refugee Benefits.” Although it looked official, the lawsuit alleges that the defendants manufactured those brochures and filled them with misleading information.
The migrants identified in the lawsuit all say they would never have agreed to board those planes if they knew the truth about their destination. The prosecutor, identified as Yanet Doe, said she feared her family would be evicted for missing their appointments with immigration judges after being stranded on Martha’s Vineyard.