Lawyers representing migrants flown to Martha’s Vineyard called for the federal government and the state of Massachusetts to open criminal probes into Republican Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis on Sunday.
Lawyers for Civil Rights, a legal organization representing roughly 30 of the Martha’s Vineyard migrants, says DeSantis and those working with him “induced” migrants to board the planes under “false pretenses.” Democratic Florida gubernatorial candidate Charlie Crist joined the call during a Thursday appearance on CNN, saying “laws may have been broken.”
“It was only when the flight was in midair that they were informed they would be flown to Martha’s Vineyard, rather than to Boston as many had been told,” the lawyers wrote in a letter to Massachusetts law enforcement, according to Axios.
“Once the planes landed, those who had induced our clients to travel under these false pretenses disappeared, leaving our clients to learn that the offers of assistance had all been a ruse to exploit them for political purposes,” the lawyers added.
Crist said the Department of Justice should “absolutely” look into the program.
“This is a humane — an inhumane, rather — injustice that’s being done to human beings,” Crist told CNN. “Is this the way to treat our fellow men and women? Of course not.”
“And, you know, laws may have been broken in the process of this,” Crist added, saying he will file a Freedom of Information Act request to find out “what happened here.”
DeSantis’ office did not immediately respond to a request for comment from Fox News Digital.
DeSantis and Republican Texas Gov. Greg Abbott have for months sent buses of migrants to Democratic strongholds across the country. The pair argue Democrats far from the border aren’t taking the immigration crisis seriously.
The program has primarily targeted Washington, D.C., Chicago and New York City — some of the nation’s most powerful cities and also self-described sanctuary cities.
“If you have folks that are inclined to think Florida is a good place, our message to them is we are not a sanctuary state, and it’s better to be able to go to a sanctuary jurisdiction and, yes, we will help facilitate that transport for you to be able to go to greener pastures,” DeSantis said of the program Thursday.