A group of illegal immigrants who were flown to the affluent coastal island of Martha's Vineyard on two planes chartered by Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis (R) are suing the governor, claiming the flights violated their Fourth and Fourteenth Amendment rights.
Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis (R) sent two flights of illegal aliens to Martha's Vineyard late last week. Officials on the island declared a “humanitarian crisis” shortly after their arrival. Massachusetts Gov. Charlie Baker (R) intervened to bus the illegal aliens off Martha's Vineyard to Joint Base Cape Cod.
Illegal immigrants flown to Martha's Vineyard filed a class action lawsuit against DeSantis on Tuesday, represented by lawyers from the non-governmental organizations (NGOs) Alianza Americas and Lawyers for Civil Rights.
In their lawsuit, the illegal immigrants claim that DeSantis defrauded them by promising them employment, housing, and food when they arrived on Martha's Vineyard:
The individual Plaintiffs were among the immigrants on those planes. All of them were subject to the same pattern and practice of inducement and deceit in the days leading up to their arrival in Martha’s Vineyard, orchestrated by Defendant DeSantis and implemented by the other Defendants.
Under the auspices of acting out of the goodness of their hearts, the Doe Defendants made false promises and false representations that if the individual Plaintiffs and other class members were willing to board airplanes to other states, they would receive employment, housing, educational opportunities, and other like assistance at their arrival. The Doe Defendants also told the individual Plaintiffs and other class members that they would receive assistance with their immigration proceedings at their destination.
In fact, Defendants had made no arrangements for employment, housing, educational opportunities, or other assistance for the individual Plaintiffs or other class members at their destination. Defendants had not even notified any governmental or non-profit entity that could provide such services that the individual Plaintiffs and their similarly-situated class members would be arriving.
The lawsuit claims that DeSantis violated illegal aliens' Fourth and Fourteenth Amendment rights by enticing them to fly to Martha's Vineyard.
The lawsuit claims:
By fraudulently inducing individual Plaintiffs to board an airplane and cross state lines in the manner described herein, Defendants engaged in an egregious abuse of power that deprived individual Plaintiffs of their liberty in a manner that shocks the conscience.
Defendants’ conduct of inducing immigrants to travel across state lines by fraud and misrepresentation discriminates against individuals on the basis of race and national origin … this conduct impermissibly discriminates against non-citizen Plaintiffs on the basis of alienage and deprives them of the equal protection of the laws within the meaning of the Fourteenth Amendment to the U.S. Constitution.
The lawsuit requests that federal courts rule that DeSantis violated federal law by transporting illegal aliens to Martha's Vineyard and bar the governor from conducting any further migrant flights to other states and municipalities.
The case is Alianza Americas v. DeSantis, No. 1:22-cv-11550 in the United States District Court of Massachusetts.
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