Photo: Ray Ewing/TBEN
Democratic lawmakers have called on the US Department of Justice to investigate whether Florida and Texas officials violated federal law when they moved dozens of Venezuelan asylum seekers from Texas to Martha’s Vineyard under alleged false pretenses.
The letter from Congressional Representatives Gerry Connolly, Sylvia Garcia, Ted Lieu and dozens of other Democrats followed the emergence of a report in which a 27-year-old Venezuelan said he had been given $200 from a mysterious figure known as “Perla” to find people outside the San Antonio migrant center to board a flight.
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The migrant, who was named Emmanuel, told the San Antonio Report that he had given Perla contact information for 10 other migrants.
“As the federal government retains jurisdiction over matters involving interstate travel, we request that the Department of Justice investigate whether federal funds have been used to implement a fraudulent scheme and request that the Department of Justice determine whether officials in Texas and Florida have violated the violations. federal law,” the letter said.
At least one criminal investigation into the situation has already been opened by a Texas sheriff, and Connolly and others said justice should do the same.
Multiple media reports have portrayed how the asylum seekers had been misled when they arrived in Texas and were wrongly told they were being flown to Boston.
“It is alleged that immigration officials knowingly falsified the mailing addresses of the migrants by randomly selecting homeless shelters in the United States, expecting that migrants would have to contact the wrong agency,” the letter said.
No details have yet been released about the planning and execution of the plan, which was led by the office of Florida Governor Ron DeSantis.
DeSantis has defended his administration’s actions and denied that migrants were misled.
Democrats pointed out that the migrants used in what was termed a political “stunt” were fleeing communism, authoritarianism and violence after walking thousands of miles for what they called a “life with dignity.”
Justice Department officials declined to comment.
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