DeSantis is just as dumb as Trump, just less entertaining. If you're going to commit a felony, isn't it best not to leave evidence of the fact with the victims which directly implicates you in wrongdoing?
The smoking gun in Martha's Vineyard
Popular Information has obtained documentary evidence that migrants from Venezuela were provided with false information to convince them to board flights chartered by Florida Governor Ron DeSantis (R). The documents suggest that the flights were not just a callous political stunt but potentially a crime.
The allegation that the migrants were misled is legally significant. It would mean that the flights were not just heartless, but potentially criminal. If the migrants were misled, the scheme to transport them to Martha's Vineyard could constitute fraud, false imprisonment, or kidnapping. "There is absolutely the possibility of both civil and criminal liability if people were lied to about where they were going [or] what they were going to get when they got there," lawyer Susan Church told Politico.
DeSantis has been adamant that the migrants were not misled. He claims that migrants were provided with a map showing the destination was Martha's Vineyard and describes the flights as "all voluntary." Appearing on Fox News on Sunday Morning, Florida Lt. Governor Jeanette Nunez (R) called allegations that the migrants were misled "categorically false."
Popular Information, however, has obtained a brochure that was provided to the migrants who ultimately agreed to the flights. The brochure says that migrants who arrive in Massachusetts will be eligible for numerous benefits, including "8 months cash assistance," "assistance with housing," "food," "clothing," "transportation to job interviews," "job training," "job placement," "registering children for school," "assistance applying for Social Security cards," and many other benefits.
None of this, however, is true.
Matt Cameron, a Boston-based immigration attorney, explained that the benefits described in the brochure are resettlement benefits available to refugees who have been referred by the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees and authorized to live in the United States. These benefits are not available in Massachusetts to the migrants who boarded the flights, who are still in the process of seeking asylum.
The migrants who boarded the planes "absolutely do not have access to cash, housing, and other resettlement benefits which are provided through both federal funds and partnerships with faith-based [organizations]," Cameron said.
According to some of the migrants, the benefits described in the brochure were also promised verbally by Perla to lure them onto the planes chartered by DeSantis. "[T]hey told us that they were going to help us with the rent, to get a job, that was the only option left to us," one migrant, Eduardo Linares, told the Texas Tribune.
DeSantis' office did not respond to a request for comment about the brochure.