The office of Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis (R) responded to a federal lawsuit against the governor with evidence proving the migrants who flew to Martha's Vineyard went voluntarily.
Wait, a lawsuit?
A left-leaning legal group, Lawyers for Civil Rights Boston, filed a class action lawsuit in federal court on Tuesday accusing DeSantis of operating a "fraudulent and discriminatory scheme" targeting vulnerable migrants.
The lawsuit alleges:
In or around September 2022, [DeSantis, Florida Transportation Secretary Jared Perdue, the state of Florida, Florida Department of Transportation] and their unidentified accomplices designed and executed a premeditated, fraudulent, and illegal scheme centered on exploiting this vulnerability for the sole purpose of advancing their own personal, financial and political interests.
This scheme involved the unidentified Doe Defendants, acting in concert with the named Defendants, identifying and targeting class members by trolling streets outside of a migrant shelter in Texas and other similar locales, pretending to be good Samaritans offering humanitarian assistance.
The lawsuit was filed on behalf of three pseudonymous plaintiffs and contains only allegations, including that migrants were lured with McDonald's gift certificates.
The lawsuit claims defendants violated the Fourth and Fourteenth Amendment rights of the migrants, breached the Supremacy Clause of the Constitution, and misused COVID-19 funds while committing fraud, false imprisonment, and intentional and negligent "infliction of emotional distress."
Attorneys are seeking a jury trial.
What was the response?
DeSantis' office responded by accusing the attorneys of exploiting the migrants and released evidence corroborating the administration's assertion that migrants traveled willingly.
"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," his office said in a statement.
"The transportation of the immigrants to Martha’s Vineyard was done on a voluntary basis," the statement continued.
"The immigrants were homeless, hungry, and abandoned — and these activists didn’t care about them then," the statement explained. "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."
Interestingly, the Spanish-English document (that you can view here) does not specify a destination.
Democrats have accused DeSantis of crimes from kidnapping to human trafficking. However, a Texas sheriff admitted on Monday that he is not sure any laws were broken.