‘Lured under false pretenses’ — Texas sheriff opens criminal investigation into Martha’s Vineyard
Flights that transported 48 migrants to Massachusetts are under investigation
Bexar County Sheriff Javier Salazar opened an investigation into the two flights that sent migrants to Martha’s Vineyard, according to The Associated Press. The sheriff, who also oversees San Antonio, Texas, said he enlisted organized crime task force agents from his office to aid in the investigation.
Why is Salazar opening an investigation?
According to Salazar, he has heard allegations of human rights violations, per CNN.
The Texas sheriff suspects that the 48 migrants, who were in the area around a migrant resource center in San Antonio, were “lured under false pretenses” into being transported to Florida and then Martha’s Vineyard, per NBC News. So far it is too early and not year clear whether laws were broken.
“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,” Salazar said in a news conference.
The New York Times reports that it currently appears a Venezuelan migrant was paid a fee to recruit other migrants who were “lured under false pretenses” to stay in a hotel and fly to Florida and then Martha’s Vineyard.
The migrants were lured to this travel under the false pretenses of being offered jobs, but were left there with unfulfilled promises, according to NPR.
“What infuriates me the most is what we have is 48 people here legally — they have every right to be here and they were preyed upon. Lured with promises of a better life,” the sheriff said.
Will the federal government be involved?
What has DeSantis said in response?
The transported migrants have been caught in a political fight between Republican governors of border states and Democratic officials, according to The Times. The migrants were flown to Martha’s vineyard by Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis.
Immigration advocates have called for investigators to look into the Florida governor’s program to relocate the immigrants, per NBC.
In response to the investigation, a spokesperson for DeSantis said in a statement that DeSantis and his administration were helping migrants access “greener pastures.”