Posted on April 23, 2024

Migrants Shipped to Martha’s Vineyard by Gov. Ron DeSantis Given Crime Victim Visas

Emily Crane, New York Post, April 23, 2024

A handful of the migrants shipped off to Martha’s Vineyard by Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis 18 months ago are now legally allowed to work in the US — because they’re considered victims of a crime, their attorney says.

The migrants applied last year for a special type of visa designated for crime victims — known as a U-visa — after they claimed they were duped into boarding charter flights from San Antonio, Texas, to the upmarket liberal enclave in Massachusetts with the false promises of jobs and housing.

At least three of the 49 migrants involved in the flight operation — spearheaded by DeSantis in September 2022 — received “bona fide determinations” for their U-visa applications this week, their immigrant attorney, Rachel Self, told the Boston Globe.

The approval of a U-visa can often lead to permanent lawful status in the country as well.

The developments come after a sheriff in Bexar County, Texas, launched a criminal probe in late 2022 after DeSantis took credit for the two taxpayer-funded migrants flights {snip}


Separately, a federal judge in Boston ruled earlier this month that the Martha’s Vineyard migrants can sue the charter flight company — Florida-based Vertol Systems Co. — that transported them to the island.

The court said that “unlike ICE agents legitimately enforcing the country’s immigration laws … the court sees no legitimate purpose for rounding up highly vulnerable individuals on false pretenses and publicly injecting them into a divisive national debate.”

The ruling also found that the facts of the case, “taken together, support an inference that Vertol and the other Defendants specifically targeted Plaintiffs because they were Latinx immigrants.”