Texas sheriff launches criminal probe into migrant flights to Martha’s Vineyard: ‘It’s wrong’ – National

A Texas county sheriff is launching a criminal investigation into flights that brought dozens of migrants from Texas to Martha’s Vineyard, Massachusetts, last week, an act credited to Florida’s Republican governor and which the White House described as a political stunt.

Bexar County Sheriff Javier Salazar said at a news conference Monday that about 50 migrants were lured onto the streets of San Antonio “under false pretenses,” housed in a hotel, escorted to planes and “briefly stranded in Martha’s Vineyard.” , a rich vacation island, “for nothing but a photo op”.

San Antonio is the largest city in Bexar County.

“What infuriates me the most about this case is that we have 48 people who are already going through tough times,” Salazar said. “I think they were exploited.”

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Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis flies two planes carrying migrants to Martha’s Vineyard

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Salazar, a Democrat, said his move had nothing to do with his party affiliation. “From a human rights perspective, it’s wrong. What was done to these people was wrong.”

A spokesman for Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis said immigrants were “more than willing to leave Bexar County after they were left.”

“Florida gave them an opportunity to seek greener pastures in a sanctuary that, as we expected, offered them greater resources,” said Taryn Fenske, DeSantis communications director, in an emailed statement.

Salazar said his office works with advocacy groups and private attorneys representing victims and can coordinate with federal agencies when needed.

DeSantis, who is up for re-election in November and is considered a possible presidential nominee in 2024, claimed recognition of the two flights from San Antonio while criticizing Democratic President Joe Biden’s handling of a record number of crossings along the US-Mexico border .

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Democrats are condemning Republicans for flying migrant planes to Martha’s Vineyard as “political pawns”.

Democrats are condemning Republicans for flying migrant planes to Martha’s Vineyard as “political pawns”.

DeSantis is joining Republican governors in Texas and Arizona in sending migrants to Democrat-controlled cities, including buses carrying migrants from Texas that have been dropped off near Vice President Kamala Harris’s Washington residence.

DeSantis said last week Florida paid to fly the migrants to Martha’s Vineyard because many migrants arriving in Florida are from Texas.

Republicans have attempted to shift responsibility for frontier workers to Democratic leaders. The Biden administration said Republicans would use migrants as “political pawns.”

While details of how the flights were arranged and paid for remain unclear, one migrant told Reuters he and his family were recruited outside of a San Antonio migrant support center and promised housing, support for 90 days, help with work permits and English lessons. He said they were surprised when their flight landed on an island best known as a summer retreat populated mostly by wealthy, liberal Americans.

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U.S. border officials detained nearly 2 million migrants at the U.S.-Mexico border in the fiscal year that began last October, according to government data released Monday. This includes a growing number of Cubans, Nicaraguans, Venezuelans and others who cannot be deported to Mexico due to a public health order in place since the beginning of the COVID pandemic. Many try to apply for asylum.

(Reporting by Mica Rosenberg in New York, Jason Buch in Madison, and Kristina Cooke in San Francisco; Additional reporting by Ted Hesson in Washington; Writing by Mica Rosenberg; Editing by Leslie Adler) Texas sheriff launches criminal probe into migrant flights to Martha’s Vineyard: ‘It’s wrong’ – National

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