April 1, 2023

Earlier this week, we speculated that the saga of Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis’ immigration flight was bound to get uglier over time.

that’s it.

exist Class action lawsuit filed in federal court on Tuesday In Massachusetts, immigrant aid group Alianza Americas put meat on what is known about a DeSantis-sponsored flight of nearly 50 immigrants to Martha’s Vineyard, Massachusetts.

The problem is that we don’t see a massive migration of them to Florida. It just comes in the form of onesie-twosies.

—Florida Governor Ron DeSantis, lamenting that his state has no immigration issues

It was previously reported that the immigrants were told before boarding two planes in Texas that they would be taken to Boston or Washington, D.C., where they would be given jobs and undergo a range of immigration services.

Instead, they were sent to the island, which could only be reached by air or sea, and no one able to provide such services was informed of their arrival.

The lawsuit names DeSantis, Florida Transportation Secretary Jared Perdue and the state of Florida as defendants, saying they “manipulated” immigrants “to take away their dignity, their liberty, their physical autonomy, Due process and equal protection under the law.”

DeSantis responded to the lawsuit by going public on Tuesday A consent form allegedly signed by one of the passengers. If it’s true, then on DeSantis’ side, the disclosure has to be listed as Spectacular Self. It is in English and Spanish, but the Spanish (the part with the passenger’s signature) is an incomplete translation of the English.


A consent form issued by Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis’ office purportedly signed by an immigrant passenger on a Florida flight to Martha’s Vineyard. The Spanish translation lacks the English passage that renders the perpetrator harmless.


The Spanish translation of the entire paragraph is missing, proving that the passenger agrees “to hold the benefactor or his designated representative from all liability…in relation to any injury and damage that may occur during the agreed carriage.” The document simply states that the flight will be departing from Dirk Saussure took off and landed in Massachusetts, with no further details.

All three plaintiffs named in the lawsuit have crossed the U.S. border under pseudonyms to seek asylum from crime, civil unrest, terrorism and other similar situations in their native Venezuela.

They surrendered to U.S. immigration officials, who allowed them to remain in the U.S. while their asylum claims were adjudicated, a process that could take more than a year.During this time, they were legal residents of the United States

According to the lawsuit, the plaintiff was approached outside an immigrant resource center in San Antonio, Texas, by two individuals named “Pella” and “Emanuel,” whose identities have not been further identified or located . They gave immigrants $10 in McDonald’s gift certificates and told them that if they were willing to fly out of Texas, “they would receive employment, housing, educational opportunities and other similar assistance upon arrival,” the lawsuit said.

Pera and Emanuel gave them their supposed cell phone numbers and told them to call if anything went wrong. They kept immigrants in hotel rooms for up to five days, separate from any legal immigration aid workers, while they called in enough passengers to fill the plane, the lawsuit said.

Only during the flight were passengers told they would land on Martha’s Vineyard. They received a packet of information about the Massachusetts Refugee Resettlement Program, which, in fact, the passengers were not eligible for.

Pera and Emanuel did not travel by air, the lawsuit said. The phone number went unanswered, the lawsuit said.

Passengers were “delivered to Martha’s Vineyard at night without food, water or shelter,” the lawsuit said. “Martha’s Vineyard—or…anywhere in Massachusetts—no one knew they were coming.”

DeSantis and his co-defendants have yet to formally respond to the lawsuit.But in public statements, including Appearing on Sean Hannity’s Fox News On Tuesday, he delivered a ton of nonsense about immigration flights.

Martha’s Vineyard, he told Hannity, “said they wanted this. They said they were a sanctuary jurisdiction.”

This is a lie. Massachusetts has never enacted legislation to position itself as a sanctuary state, which is generally considered to involve a formal designation.

The Massachusetts Superior Court said state law enforcement cannot arrest anyone just for being suspected of illegal entry. But efforts to pass a state law establishing Massachusetts as a “sanctuary state” have been unsuccessful.

Several communities in the state, including Boston, have designated themselves as protected areas, but Martha’s Vineyard is not among them.

If those flights land in Boston, especially with advance notice, officials and advocates are ready to receive them. As DeSantis and his agent no doubt know, that’s not the case on the island.

DeSantis actually acknowledged that Florida does not have a problem with mass migration of undocumented immigrants. “The problem is that we’re not seeing a massive migration of them to Florida,” he said in a statement. Tuesday’s press conference. “It’s only in onesie-twosies.”

“We’ve got people” at the border, he said, that between one-third and 40% of those crossing the border are interested in coming to Florida. “If you can do that at the source and move to a sanctuary jurisdiction, the chances of them ending up in Florida are much smaller.”

This brings us to the latest version of the DeSantis baby stunt. On Tuesday, a plane chartered by the same company that DeSantis flew for Martha’s Vineyard appeared to be leaving from San Antonio, with flight plans showing it was headed to President Biden’s hometown of Trump. LA.

Delaware officials and immigration advocates scrambled to embrace it. Instead, the program landed in Teterboro, New Jersey, with no one on board except the crew.

The coverage of this episode casts doubt on whether our political news media are ready to see the political campaign hollow and focus on what matters in the upcoming election.

On MSNBC, the episode is Taken as a big joke Among them, the White House, Delaware officials, “the news media and political bystanders” were “punked”.

MSNBC described it as a “‘Waiting for Godot’-style spectacle” highlighting “the tricky politics around immigration, and DeSantis’ knack for making headlines.” is this real?

Here’s a couple of questions that didn’t come up on MSNBC’s entertainment coverage: Why even pose to send immigrants to Delaware when it’s not a sanctuary state? Also, how much time, energy and money are wasted by officials and immigration service providers who are forced to wait in vain for flights out of Texas because they care about passengers, not political scores?

Is DeSantis spending Florida’s budget resources on relocating immigrants on flights without immigrants boarding for no other purpose than to “punk” well-wishers at the destination? DeSantis’ exact role on the flight is unclear, though DeSantis declined to comment on the flight, and MSNBC quoted an anonymous DeSantis aide as saying the governor “deliberately keeps people in the dark.” inside”.

USA Today’s framing is almost as short-sighted. The Gannett described the events in Delaware as “part of an ongoing spat between Biden and Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis that has grabbed headlines and gained attention. Biden’s border policy. ”

One would think that Biden and DeSantis have been bickering over immigration, but that’s not the case. Like his Republican governor, DeSantis has made no policy recommendations on immigration and, in fact, acknowledged that Florida has no immigration issues.

(My colleagues Andrea Castillo and Erin B. Logan also covered the episode and quoted immigration officials at length about their efforts, without any Witty on MSNBC or shortsighted on USA TODAY.)

Contrary to MSNBC’s framing, it’s not all about “the tricky politics around immigration.” It’s just performative stupidity masquerading as a serious policy debate, with vulnerable people being the victims. If the news media can’t tell the difference, we’re in trouble.

As the class action states, it’s about the abuse of “poor, trapped and extremely vulnerable” individuals and families who seek help in the United States and follow all the rules to get it. Instead, they are thwarted by agents of reckless and vicious politicians who deceive them and put them in situations where their legal and social problems will only be magnified.

DeSantis is just one of the Republican governors involved in the practice, though he seems best at attracting the attention of the unwary media. Texas Gov. Greg Abbott and Arizona Gov. Doug Ducey have been on this for longer. They just lack the verve that DeSantis has. Those who defraud innocents of money often face jail time when caught.

In these cases, victims are deprived of more, and perpetrators brag about their activities rather than hide them.

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