Authorities in Texas have launched a criminal investigation into Florida Governor Ron DeSantis’ shipment of nearly 50 migrants from Texas to Florida to the Massachusetts island of Martha’s Vineyard last week.
The Bexar County Sheriff’s Office is investigating whether the migrants, who were largely from Venezuela, were victims of crimes, Sheriff Javier Salazar confirmed on Monday.
Salazar said the migrants were “lured” onto flights under “false pretenses” from San Antonio in Bexar County with false promises of employment and opportunity when in fact, they were used for political purposes, Salazar said.
“Somebody came from out of state, preyed upon these people, lured them with promises of better life,” Salazar claimed at a news briefing.
“Here we have 48 people that are already on hard times. They are here legally in our country at that point. I believe that they were preyed upon. Somebody came from out of state, preyed upon these people, lured them with promises of a better life, which is absolutely what they were looking for,” Salazar said.
He added that the migrants had been left “stranded unceremoniously in Martha’s Vineyard,” which is an affluent place to live or take a vacation, “for nothing other than a photo op.”
California Governor Gavin Newsom also confirmed that he issued a letter to sent Attorney General Merrick Garland to investigate whether DeSantis could be charged with either human trafficking or kidnapping.
DeSantis’ office has since hit back and said that migrants have been abandoned in Bexar County and “left to fend for themselves.”
“Florida gave them an opportunity to seek greener pastures in a sanctuary jurisdiction that offered greater resources for them, as we expected. Unless the MA national guard has abandoned these individuals, they have been provided accommodations, sustenance, clothing and more options to succeed following their unfair enticement into the United States, unlike the 53 immigrants who died in a truck found abandoned in Bexar County this June,” his office said in a statement, referring to the deaths of 53 migrants found in a locked commercial in San Antonio truck earlier this year.
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