The transport of unsuspecting asylum seekers to Martha’s Vineyard by Florida Governor Ron DeSantis has backfired as a Texas sheriff recently certified that the migrants are victims of a crime.
Bexar County Sheriff’s deputies are investigating the flight from San Antonio, which not only opens Gov. Ron DeSantis up to potential penalties but may make the immigrants eligible for special visas and a pathway to citizenship.
Sheriffs have provided certification documenting that the migrants DeSantis dumped in Martha’s Vineyard last month are victims of a crime, having been “transported under pretenses,” in Bexar County Sheriff Javier Salazar’s words. He said in a statement:
“We are investigating this case as possible Unlawful Restraint heal from the incredibly traumatic experiences they have suffered as a result of the cruel, heartless acts committed against them.”
Sheriff Salazar has also submitted the necessary documentation to federal authorities, which will shield the individuals from deportation as they’re needed in the United States to testify as witnesses.
Along with helping keep these 48 immigrants in the U.S. for the short term, DeSantis’ actions may even have earned them more permanent status, as being the victim of or witness to a crime is key in eligibility for a type of visa called a U-visa.
The recipients may be able to apply for green cards after three years. WGBH reports:
Getting a certification often takes over a year, so it’s unusual that Salazar turned them around so quickly after the September flights…Salazar’s office has identified suspects in their investigation but isn’t currently releasing names publicly.
DeSantis’ supporters have lauded the transportation of the victims to Martha’s Vineyard, considering it a way to “own the libs.”
However, not everyone on the right is happy with the Florida Governor — some have complained about moving “illegals” further into the country.
JustSecurity confirms, however, that court documents show the victims were actually in compliance with immigration and asylum laws:
The Migrants apparently surrendered themselves to immigration officials upon crossing the border…They have active proceedings to determine their status and, pending such determination, are authorized to remain in the United States.
DeSantis is also already facing another investigation from the federal level, where the U.S. Treasury is investigating whether he illegally used COVID relief funds to pay for the trip and a federal civil suit in Massachusetts.
Steph Bazzle covers politics and theocracy, always aiming for a world free from extremism and authoritarianism. Follow Steph on Twitter @imjustasteph.
Steph Bazzle is a news writer who covers politics and theocracy, always aiming for a world free from extremism and authoritarianism. Follow Steph on Twitter @imjustasteph. Sign up for all of her stories to be delivered to your inbox here: