Yesterday, Alianza Americas filed a class action complaint with several of the migrants who were flown from Texas to Martha’s Vineyard last week as part of a political stunt by Florida Governor Ron DeSantis. The lawsuit provides some new insight into how migrants were duped into leaving San Antonio.
According to the lawsuit, plaintiffs Yanet Doe, Pablo Doe, and Jesus Due were all from Venezuela, who had surrendered to federal immigration officials. The State Department categorizes Venezuela as category four “Do Not Travel” country. The plaintiffs came to America to escape their home country. The lawsuit states: “They fled to the United States in a desperate attempt to protect themselves and their families from gang, police, and state-sponsored violence and the oppression of political dissent.”
The lawsuit then lays out how the plaintiffs were deceived. They received $10 McDonalds gift certificates and were told that if they boarded a plane they would “receive employment, housing, educational opportunities, and other like assistance upon their arrival.” The defendants in the lawsuit then placed migrants into hotels for free to get away from their shelter in San Antonio.
The plaintiffs boarded a private chartered plane that they believed would be going to either Washington D.C. or Boston. Instead, it landed in Martha’s Vineyard. Nobody from the island or even Massachusetts knew in advance about their arrival. The lawsuit notes that when the plaintiffs tried to reach their contacts, they “disappeared.”
DeSantis immediately took credit for the stunt. The plaintiffs are seeking both monetary and injunctive relief for their plight. In addition to DeSantis, other defendants in the lawsuit are Jared Perdue, the Secretary of Transportation of Florida and several Doe defendants, including two who went by the names “Perla” and “Emanuel” with the migrants.
Before the lawsuit was filed, the Sheriff of Bexar County already announced that he was investigating. That prompted indicted Attorney General Ken Paxton to call the investigation “political grandstanding” and “unlawful.”