House Democrats Call on DOJ to Investigate DeSantis for “Cruel Migrant Flights”

More than 40 House Democrats called on Friday for the Biden Justice department to open an investigation into Florida Governor. Ron DeSantis’ inhumane scheme that transported dozens of migrants to Martha’s Vineyard, alleging the Republican leader and other officials involved may have violated federal law.

“Harrowing interviews and reports reveal officials in Florida intentionally misled the migrants to believe they would be flown to Boston to receive expedited work papers,” the 44 Democratic lawmakers wrote in a letterAttorney General Merrick Garland

“Instead, the deceived migrants were packed onto buses, put onto two privately chartered flights, and prohibited from taking photos of the journey that made two unannounced stops before landing in Martha’s Vineyard, Massachusetts,” the letter continues. “It is alleged that immigration officials knowingly falsified mailing addresses for the migrants by selecting arbitrary homeless shelters across the United States, with the expectation that migrants would be required to attend court proceedings as early as next week in states thousands of miles away or face forced removal.”

Spearheaded by Reps. Gerry Connolly (Va.), Sylvia Garcia (Texas), Ted Lieu (Calif.), and Mondaire Jones (N.Y.), the letter calls on the Justice Department to “investigate whether any federal funds were used to operate a fraudulent scheme and request the Department of Justice make a determination as to whether officials in Texas and Florida violated federal law.”

“The actions of the officials in Texas and Florida were not only fundamentally cruel and uniquely un-American; there remains a likelihood that federal laws were violated,” the House Democrats wrote.

Dozens and dozens of migrants arrived in Massachusetts last week after DeSantis — in partnership with the GOP-aligned aviation firm Vertol Systems — arranged for them to be flown to Martha’s Vineyard from San Antonio, using human beings as propsFor political messaging. A Texas sheriff on Monday launched a criminal investigation into the ploy, which he said “preyed upon” the vulnerable migrants.

Texas’ Republican governor, Greg Abbott, who has engaged in similar schemes, insists he wasn’t involved in the flights organized by the Florida government.

Some of the Venezuelan asylum seekers will be present on Tuesday filed a federal class-action lawsuit alleging that DeSantis and Florida’s transportation secretary “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.”

Numerous state-level officials, such as the Massachusetts Rep. Dylan Fernandes have been recognized. demanded a federal probe, characterizing the Florida governor’s actions as “fraud, kidnapping, deprivation of liberty, and human trafficking.” Members of Massachusetts’ congressional delegation, meanwhile, have pressuredThe U.S. Treasury Department will investigate the matter, citing possible misuse of federal funds.

Florida state senator Jason Pizzo, a Democrat has also supported the bill. filed a lawsuitDeSantis should be prohibited from spending more taxpayer money on migrant flight.

In their letter on Friday, the 44 House Democrats stressed that “the federal government retains jurisdiction over cases that involve interstate travel” and should intervene.

“The Bexar County, Texas sheriff’s office has already opened a criminal investigation into this scheme,” they wrote. “We urge your department to do the same and conduct a thorough investigation and deliver accountability to those that violated the law.”