DeSantis news: Martha’s Vineyard migrant survived torture in Mexico as Delaware flight ‘scam’ revealed

·25-min read
DeSantis news: Martha’s Vineyard migrant survived torture in Mexico as Delaware flight ‘scam’ revealed

A group of 48 mostly Venezeulan migrants transported from Texas in a surprise flight to Martha’s Vineyard last week have sued governor Florida Governor Ron DeSantis and his administartion for allegedly orchestrating a “fraudulent and discriminatory” scheme.

The class action lawsuit comes as at least two law enforcement agencies are also investigating the governor’s plans for allegedly “luring” migrants with false promises of employment and financial assistance.

After the DeSantis administration dismissed reports of a second flight, this time to Delaware, migrants in San Antonio told the Miami-Herald how they were lured to scheduled flight to the state with false promises of employment and aid before it was abruptly canceled.

In the days after the flights, in interviews and in court documents, stories of the migrants and their harrowing journeys to the US-Mexico border have surfaced, including one man’s alleged torture and abuse at the hands of drug cartels.

Governor DeSantis and his aides have repeatedly defended sending migrants to Democratic-leading states and cities in protest of what they characterise as the president’s “open border” policy.

Key points

  • Six unanswered questions about Ron DeSantis’s migrant flights

  • ‘This was all a scam’: Migrants reveal DeSantis plans for Delaware flight

  • Migrants were injured, kidnapped and victims of abuse, according to volunteers

  • Migrants on the Martha’s Vineyard flight weren’t in US ‘illegally,’ despite DeSantis claims

  • Florida hired GOP donor for migrant flights, records reveal

DeSantis leads Trump in purple-red Florida amid migrants controversy

Thursday 22 September 2022 11:00 , John Bowden

Florida Gov Ron DeSantis now leads Donald Trump in a hypothetical head-to-head matchup among voters in Florida, according to a new Axios poll.

The development comes as Mr DeSantis has become a hero on the far right for his effort to use state funding to transport migrants from Texas to Democrat-held areas, even as he admits that large groups of migrants entering his state remain nonexsistent.

The performance in the poll is notable, too, because Donald Trump won the Florida primary against Sen Marco Rubio, the state’s senior senator, during the 2016 primary in what was one of his last moves to eliminate his rivals in the GOP presidential contest.

Read more at Axios:

Migrant says he was paid to recruit migrants for Florida’s controversial Martha’s Vineyard flights

Thursday 22 September 2022 13:00 , John Bowden

A 27-year-old Venezuelan migrant says he was given $200 to entice his fellow asylum-seekers to board planes or buses bound for Democrat-held areas chartered by Florida’s governor.

And he was instructed to do so with promises of aid that never materialised or was ever real to begin with, he now says.

If true, it would prove that Florida officials used deceptive practices to lure migrants thousands of miles across the United States for purely political reasons.

Migrant says he was paid to recruit others for Martha’s Vineyard flight

Holly Baxter: ‘Ron DeSantis and Greg Abbott seem to be using migrants to put across their extreme views'

Thursday 22 September 2022 14:24 , Alex Woodward

Writing for The Independent Premium, US editor of Voices Holly Baxter writes how two Republican governors are ramping up political stunts ahead of the midterms at the expense of vulnerable migrants and their families:

DeSantis and Abbott using migrants to put across their extreme views | Holly Baxter

False promises, a legal investigation and a mystery woman: Unanswered questions about Ron DeSantis's migrant flights

Thursday 22 September 2022 15:00 , Alex Woodward

After two nights in a church shelter, migrants who arrived in Massachusetts were moved to a larger shelter operation on the mainland, with separate rooms and medical and legal support. State officials report that the families are in “good health and good spirits,” with access to legal services, humanitarian aid and interpreters.

But so much remains unclear about the migrants’ journey, how Florida officials are identifying and collecting migrants in other states as part of the Republican governor’s state-sanctioned plans to send them to Democratic-leading states and cities, and how funding earmarked for his scheme is paying for it from several states away.

Texas sheriff faces ‘influx’ of threats for investigating migrant flights

Thursday 22 September 2022 15:30 , Alex Woodward

Bexar County Sheriff Javier Salazar’s office has reportedly received numberous “hateful emails” and threats after announcing an investigation into migrant flights out of San Antonio, coordinated by Florida Governor Ron DeSantis’s administration, several states away.

Texas sheriff threatened for investigating DeSantis’s migrant flights

Jared Kushner condemns DeSantis’s migrant flights

Thursday 22 September 2022 16:00 , Alex Woodward

Trump’s son-in-law and former aide Jared Kushner said he was “very troubled” by Governor DeSantis’s plans to fly migrants from the US-Mexico border to Martha’s Vineyard.

Mr Kushner appeared on Fox News’ Outnumbered in the aftermath of last week’s scheme, while Texas Governor Greg Abbott and Arizona Governor Doug Ducey continue to sending migrants who crossed the border to cities like Washington DC and New York.

“I personally watch what’s happening, and it’s very hard to see at the southern border, I also – we have to remember that these are human beings, they’re people, so seeing them being used as political pawns one way or the other is very troubling to me,” Mr Kushner said.

Jared Kushner condemns DeSantis’s migrant flights

Beto O’Rourke slams Greg Abbott’s ‘cruel and unkind’ migrant ‘stunts'

Thursday 22 September 2022 16:30 , Alex Woodward

During an appearance on The Daily Show, Democratic candidate for Texas governor Beto O’Rourke slammed Greg Abbot’s ongoing scheme to send hundreds of migrants in the state to Democratic-led states and cities.

He condemned the Republican governor’s “cruel and unkind” “stunts” that have bused migrants and families hundreds of miles from where their asylum cases have originated, largely stranding them at the mercy of local aid groups in the cities where they have arrived.

“What if Texas led the way in rewriting our immigration laws to reflect our values, our interests and our needs, and we said, ‘Look, [if] you want to come to this country, you must follow our laws,’ but our laws will follow our values,” Mr O’Rourke said.

Massachusetts lawmaker: Migrant families ‘incredibly grateful’ following move to Cape Cod shelter

Thursday 22 September 2022 17:25 , Alex Woodward

Massachusetts state representative Dylan Fernandes, who represents Martha’s Vineyard, told The Independent that the Venezuelan immigrants who arrived on the island are “incredibly grateful” for the community support, and are in good health following a move to a larger Cape Cod shelter.

“Everyone’s needs are more than met,” he told The Independent on Thursday, one week after their surprise arrival in the state.

“Every person ... has their own space, families have their own space. There’s a lot of access to health care, and including dental health and other types of care, like crisis management and mental health,” he said.

Caseworkers from housing organisations are helping them with longer-term housing solutions, and immigration attorneys also are assisting with their asylum cases and navigating their legal status and resource while in the US.

“The people who are there are in good spirits and good health and are deeply appreciative,” he said.

‘They opened up their phone when they landed and saw they were surrounded by water'

Thursday 22 September 2022 18:10 , Alex Woodward

The group of migrants who landed on Martha’s Vineyard last week were initially “terrified” after learning that the planes were landing on the island, not on the mainland in Boston, where they would have closer access to immigration services and other assistance.

“None of them knew they were going to Martha’s Vineyard,” state Rep Dylan Fernandes told The Independent.

“They opened up their phone when they landed and saw they were surrounded by water. And that was incredibly anxiety provoking to them,” he asid. “Te community here on the Vineyard, I think, showed what being compassionate [is] and just treating human beings with common dignity and respect that every human being deserves. ... That’s what our community is all about.”

DeSantis aides said the media and Democrats got ‘punked’ by the Delaware flight that never happened. Migrants say they were duped

Thursday 22 September 2022 18:26 , Alex Woodward

After state agencies, immigration attorneys and humanitarian aid groups huddled at an airport in Delaware, anticipating the arrival of a plane with migrants from San Antonio, a person close to the DeSantis administration suggested the media and others got “punked”.

Right-wing media, DeSantis aides and other personalities mocked the Biden administration and others for anticipating the flight. His campaign rapid response director Christina Pushaw called reports of the flight “disinformation.”

But a group of migrants told the Miami-Herald that they were recruited by a woman who brought them to a hotel before planned flight to Delaware – relying on the same false promises given to the group of migrants sent to Martha’s Vineyard last week.

The flight was ultimately canceled, and the group was stranded at the hotel or sent back to a San Antonio.

How the DeSantis administration spun the Delaware flight

Thursday 22 September 2022 19:00 , Alex Woodward

After DeSantis officials called reports “disinformation” and suggested that Democratic officials and the media got “punked” into believing a migrant flight was headed to Delaware, new reporting reveals how migrants were lured to a hotel with false promises of a flight to the state, where they could receive employment aid and other assistance. Neither would happen.

On Tuesday, the White House said it was coordinating with state officials and aid groups preparing for the potential arrival of a plane with migrants sent from San Antonio to coastal Delaware near the beach home of President Joe Biden.

Local media, aid groups and state officials gathered at the small airport, anticipating its arrival. A flight that left Texas with travel paths through Florida and Tennessee ultimately landed in New Jersey.

At an unrelated press conference on Tuesday, Governor DeSantis said he could not confirm reports of the flight and lambasted Democratic officials who criticised his $12m plan to ship migrants to other states.

“The only thing I hear them getting upset about it is 50 who end up in Martha’s Vineyard,” he said. “Sanctuary jurisdictions should bear the brunt of the open borders.”

Migants interviewed by The Miami-Herald explained how they were taken to a hotel and promised a flight to Delaware, which never came. Some were stranded there, 10 miles from a migrant resource center and shelter, while others were bused back to town without an explanation why they flight was canceled.

‘This was all a scam’: Migrants reveal DeSantis plans for Delaware flight

Thursday 22 September 2022 19:30 , Alex Woodward

Days after a group of migrants boarded planes chartered by Florida Governor Ron DeSantis from Texas to Martha’s Vineyard, a woman was recruiting other migrants to board another flight – this time from San Antonio to Delaware.

The flight ultimately never happened. State agencies, local aid groups and the White House had coordinated with officials at a coastal airport anticipating the arrival of another plane organised by Florida’s Republican governor.

But around the same time that Mr DeSantis was defending his scheme on Fox News, arguing that migrants signed waivers to “voluntarily” board the Martha’s Vineyard flights, another group of migrants were filling out similar forms from their temporary hotel rooms, preparing for what would they were told was a flight to Delaware, where they would receive financial assistance and employment.

Instead, the group was told early the next morning that the flight was canceled.

‘This was all a scam’: Migrants reveal DeSantis plans for Delaware flight

Massachusetts lawmaker joins calls for Justice Department to investigate flights

Thursday 22 September 2022 20:00 , Alex Woodward

Massachusetts state Rep Dylan Fernandes, who represents Martha’s Vineyard, and other state lawmakers have joined calls to the US Department of Justice for an investigation into Florida Governor Ron DeSantis’s migrant flights.

Lawmakers “believe these and other reported actions intended to mislead” the group of Venezeualan immigrants seeking asylum in the US, “violate their rights and derail ongoing immigration proceedings.”

“We respectfully and urgently request that your office open an investigation regarding the conduct of all those involved ... given the gravity of the situation and the potential for perpetrators to repeat their actions,” according to the letter.

Fact check: GOP governors exaggerate Biden’s role on the border – and ignore the ways he’s like Trump

Thursday 22 September 2022 20:30 , Alex Woodward

The Biden administration’s border looks a lot like the one under Trump, despite Governor DeSantis and others claiming the president created a “crisis.”

Migrants sent to Martha’s Vineyard also are not “illegal” but were excercising rights protected under US and international law by seeking asylum in America. They already were processed, and released, by authorities.

The Independent’s Josh Marcus looks at some of the claims made by GOP officials to defend migrant busing:

Fact check: Ron DeSantis distorting immigration facts as he defends flights

‘He was broken’: Migrants were injured, kidnapped and victims of abuse, according to volunteers

Thursday 22 September 2022 20:35 , Alex Woodward

Venezuelan migrants seeking asylum in the US survived injuries, torture and kidnapping during their dangerous trek to the US-Mexico border, according to volunteers who offered support at a shelter on Martha’s Vineyard.

“What they had to go through is horrible,” according to Sergio Racig, who told the Martha’s Vineyard Times that he spent the night with a group of men at the church where the migrants slept during a a two-night stay on the island after unannounced flights from Texas chartered by Florida Governor Ron DeSantis had taken them.

One man was “kidnapped in Mexico,” according to Mr Racig. “The cartels kidnapped him and he was tortured.”

The man had a “broken jaw” and “missing teeth” and was receiving psychological support from an interpreter.

“He was broken,” Mr Racig told the newspaper.

Another volunteer called an ambulance for the man to be taken to a local hospital, where he received X-rays and other care.

Edgartown Fire Chief Alex Schaeffer said that two people were transported from the church to nearby care.

Migrants begin leaving Cape Cod shelter after Martha’s Vineyard flights

Thursday 22 September 2022 21:18 , Alex Woodward

Following their arrival at a large shelter operation in Cape Cod on Friday, some migrants are beginning to leave the facility and head to other destinations, according to officials.

“They’re all there voluntarily, they all chose to go there, the ones that are there, some have already left to go meet with family and other places in the country,” state Rep Dylan Fernades told The Independent.

For others who are staying at the shelter, there is no “hard timeline” for anyone to leave, and “what happens next for them depends first and foremost what they want to do,” which could depend on their asylum cases and discussions with housing case managers and immigration attorneys, among other factors.

After their apprehension, processing and release at the US-Mexico border, the migrants are on the radar of federal authorities as they await their asylum claims to play out in immigration courts.

“Some of them walked through multiple countries over ... a few days, just to get to America,” Rep Fernandes said. “[They are] asylum seekers seeking asylum from a nefarious, brutal and collapsing Venezuelan regime. They’re here legally.”

Two people have left for New York City, and others planned to go to Salt Lake City, Utah and Seattle, Washington, where they had contacts, according to the Martha’s Vineyard Times.

Flight company hired by Florida has ties to state officials

Thursday 22 September 2022 21:42 , Alex Woodward

Vertol Sytems Company Inc received more than $1.5m from the state of Florida for the governor’s migrant flights. The company and its leadership also have donated tens of thousand of dollars to the state’s GOP figures.

That includes Congressman Matt Gaetz, whose former law partner is the state’s current public safety coordinator – who represented Vertol in at least one civil lawsuit case in 2017, NBC News found.

Read more about the tangle of GOP-connected donors to the governor’s controversial flight plans and where the company’s money is going in the state:

Ron DeSantis chartered migrant flights from GOP donor, report finds

US arrests on Mexico border reach more than 2 million within 11 months

Thursday 22 September 2022 22:30 , Alex Woodward

US authorities detained more than 203,000 people crossing into the country from Mexico, according to government figures, which pits the tally to more than 2.3 million arrests within the last 11 months.

That exceeds the previous fiscal year’s record of more than 1.7 million arrests.

Immigration authorities and advocates have both attributed to the historic number of people arriving at the border to government and economic collapse across Central and South America.

“Failing communist regimes in Venezuela, Nicaragua, and Cuba are driving a new wave of migration across the Western Hemisphere, including the recent increase in encounters at the southwest US border,” according to US Customs and Border Protection Commissioner Chris Magnus.

“Our dedicated teams of skilled agents continue to work around the clock to secure our border and safely and humanely process and vet every individual encountered, but those fleeing repressive regimes pose significant challenges for processing and removal,” he said in a statement this week.

“At the same time, the number of migrants entering from Mexico and northern Central America has decreased for the third consecutive month, as the Biden-Harris Administration works with our partners in the region to address the root causes of migration, facilitate repatriation, and take thousands of smugglers off the streets,” he added. “More individuals encountered at the border without a legal basis to remain will be expelled or removed this year than any prior year.”

Fact check: Ron DeSantis distorts immigration facts as he defends migrant flights

Thursday 22 September 2022 23:00 , Alex Woodward

How “historic” is the current border situation? Is Joe Biden creating an “open border” that’s responsible for these trends? And were the migrants on the Martha’s Vineyard flight in the US illegally?

Here’s what you need to know, from The Independent’s Josh Marcus:

Fact check: Ron DeSantis distorting immigration facts as he defends flights

Migrants sent to Martha’s Vineyard were given brochures with false promises of aid and jobs. Who made them?

Friday 23 September 2022 00:00 , Alex Woodward

People seeking asylum in the US were handed official-looking documents before boarding flights to Massachusetts booked by Florida Governor Ron DeSantis.

But the Massachusetts refugee agency named on the brochues them did not make them. The DeSantis administration won’t say who did, but the governor has defended them.

The brochures are part of a class action lawsuit filed by a group of migrants from Venezuela who arrived on the island last week. Lawyers are demanding answers.

Migrants were given brochures with false promises of aid. Who made them?

ICYMI: Texas sheriffs says migrants were ‘exploited and hoodwinked’ as he opens probe into DeSantis flights

01:00 , Alex Woodward

Announcing an investigation into last week’s migrant flights from San Antonio to Martha’s Vineyard, Bexar County Sheriff Javier Salazar of Texas condemned what he called “political posturing” to remove migrants from the state.

“What infuriates me the most about this case is that here we have 48 people who are already on hard times, they are here legally in the country at that point,” he said during a press conference on Monday.

“They have every right to be where they are, and I believe they were preyed upon – somebody came from out of state, preyed upon these people, lured them with promises of a better life, which is what they were absolutely looking for, with the knowledge that they were going to cling to whatever hope they could be offered ... to just be exploited and hoodwinked into making this trip,” he said.

Texas sheriff to investigate Florida for flying migrants to Martha’s Vineyard

Jon Stewart blasts DeSantis over ‘d***ish’ migrant flights

02:00 , Alex Woodward

The former host of The Daily Show and the man behindThe Problem with Jon Stewart host said Ron DeSantis’s “stunt” to remove migrants from Texas and send them hundreds of miles away to Martha’s Vineyard “did exactly what he wanted it to do”

The plan “jumped his profile, made him a hero amongst those for whom d***ishness is one of those sole characteristics that they’re looking for in their leaders,” he said.

Jon Stewart blasts DeSantis over ‘d***ish’ migrant flights

Beto O’Rourke slams ‘cruel and unkind’ migrant flights

03:00 , Alex Woodward

Beto O’Rourke, who will face against incumbent Republican Greg Abbot in the Texas governor’s race this fall, condemned the governor’s “stunts” of sending hundreds of migrants from the state to cities across the Us.

He said: “What I propose is instead of these stunts, which are so cruel and unkind, not just to those migrants, but to those of us who live in Texas, to the border patrol agents, who we put on their backs this entire immigration system that is so badly broken [is] what if instead, we had a Texas based guest worker programme or the ability to join family and not wait 20 years in line?

“What if Texas led the way in rewriting our immigration laws to reflect our values, our interests and our needs, and we said, ‘Look, if you want to come to this country, you must follow our laws’, but our laws will follow our values”. I want Texas to lead on that.”

Beto O’Rourke slams ‘cruel and unkind’ migrant flights

ICYMI: Ron DeSantis chartered migrant flights from GOP donor

04:00 , Alex Woodward

An aviation company hired by the administration donated thousands of dollars to Republican causes – including the governor’s campaign and a state lawmaker central to his legislative agenda.

Ron DeSantis chartered migrant flights from GOP donor, report finds

DeSantis aides said Democrats and the media fell for ‘disinformation’ about the Delaware flights. But migrants said they were left behind

05:00 , Alex Woodward

Days after a group of migrants boarded planes chartered by Florida Governor Ron DeSantis from Texas to Martha’s Vineyard, a woman was recruiting other migrants to board another flight – this time from San Antonio to Delaware.

While the governor was on Fox News defending his Massachusetts scheme, another group of migrants were in their hotel rooms, preparing for what they were told would be a flight to Delaware, where they would receive financial assistance and employment.

The flight was abruptly canceled. Officials and aid groups were standing by all day to welcome migrants they expected to arrive at a small airport in coastal Delaware. DeSantis’s aides said the media and Democrats fell for disinformation and got “punked.”

Migrants, meanwhile, were back to fending for themselves in San Antonio after being lured to hotels with false promises of a fresh start.

‘This was all a scam’: Migrants reveal DeSantis plans for Delaware flight

Migrants were injured, kidnapped and victims of abuse, according to volunteers

06:00 , Alex Woodward

Venezuelan migrants seeking asylum in the US survived injuries, torture and kidnapping during their dangerous trek to the US-Mexico border, according to volunteers who offered support at a shelter on Martha’s Vineyard.

“What they had to go through is horrible,” according to Sergio Racig, who told the Martha’s Vineyard Times that he spent the night with a group of men at the church where the migrants slept during a a two-night stay on the island after unannounced flights from Texas chartered by Florida Governor Ron DeSantis had taken them.

One man was “kidnapped in Mexico,” according to Mr Racig, who described a man with a broken jaw and missing teeth. Another man had injures from climbing a train.

The men were among the group of about 50 mostly Venezuelan migrants who arrived on the island – among kidnapping and trafficking victims, children and other survivors of abuse who have been sent from Texas to cities across the US.

Massachusetts lawmaker: Migrant families ‘incredibly grateful’ following move to Cape Cod shelter

07:00 , Alex Woodward

Massachusetts state representative Dylan Fernandes, who represents Martha’s Vineyard, told The Independent that the Venezuelan immigrants who arrived on the island are “incredibly grateful” for the community support, and are in good health following a move to a larger Cape Cod shelter.

“Everyone’s needs are more than met,” he told The Independent on Thursday, one week after their surprise arrival in the state.

“Every person ... has their own space, families have their own space. There’s a lot of access to health care, and including dental health and other types of care, like crisis management and mental health,” he said.

Caseworkers from housing organisations are helping them with longer-term housing solutions, and immigration attorneys also are assisting with their asylum cases and navigating their legal status and resource while in the US.

“The people who are there are in good spirits and good health and are deeply appreciative,” he said.

Several people have moved out of the shelter and headed to New York City, among other destinations, where they have contacts.

Tragic photo shows child migrants from Guatemala at US border alone with phone numbers written on shirt

08:00 , Alex Woodward

On Wednesday, US border patrol agents encountered two Guatemalan brothers, aged two and six, who had crossed into the US without their families, with the names and phone numbers of their US contacts written on their shirts.

The boys were part of a larger group of 18 migrants from Honduras, Guatemala, and Cuba encountered by agents near La Grulla, Texas, in the far south of the state in the Rio Grande Valley area.

“Many of the unaccompanied children encountered by Border Patrol are very young and unable to provide names or phone numbers of family members,” the agency said in a news release.

Tragic photo shows child migrants from Guatemala at US border alone

ICYMI: Massachusetts members of Congress demand federal probe into funding for migrant flights

09:00 , Alex Woodward

Last week, members of Congress representing Massachusetts have asked the US Department of Treasury to investigate Florida’s use of federal aid from Covid-19 relief legislation to “cruelly relocate” migrants from Texas.

As The Independent reported, the $12m state-funded plan to move migrants is supported by “interest earnings associated with the federal Coronavirus State Fiscal Recovery Fund,” a part of the $1.9 trillion American Rescue Plan signed into law by President Biden, with universal GOP opposition in Congress.

Republican Governor Ron DeSantis even criticised the law as “designed basically to bail out the poorly governed states.”

Roughly $350bn in state funding in the American Rescue Plan is intended to support state and local pandemic relief efforts and public health response and to keep government services running against economic strain.

Florida’s budget asserts that the state’s Department of Transportation “may, upon the receipt of at least two quotes, negotiate and enter into contracts with private parties, including common carriers, to implement the program” and “may enter into agreements with any applicable federal agency to implement the program.”

More than $1.5m has been paid to a GOP-connected aviation firm used to charter the flights.

ICYMI: Migrants reveal how they were lured to a canceled flight to Delaware that Florida officials called ‘disinformation’

10:00 , Alex Woodward

Operatives allegedly working for Florida’s Governor Ron DeSantis and his administration left asylum seekers stranded in San Antonio after false promises and a canceled flight to Delaware.

DeSantis officials have largely dismissed that such a flight even existed, but a group of migrants told the Miami-Herald how they were lured to hotel with false promises of opportunies and aid in the state before the flight was abruptly canceled as they prepared to head to the airport.

‘This was all a scam’: Migrants reveal DeSantis plans for Delaware flight

Six unanswered questions about Ron DeSantis’s migrant flights

11:00 , Alex Woodward

Who is “Perla” and who convinced migrants to board the flights? Who made the brochures that promised them housing and aid? Could DeSantis face any charges, and will he book more flights? And what happens next for the migrants and their asylum claims?

So much remains unclear about the governor’s flight plans.

We answer what we can here:

Six unanswered questions about Ron DeSantis’s migrant flights

DeSantis’s team lured hungry migrants with $10 McDonald’s gift cards, lawsuit says

12:00 , Alex Woodward

A federal class action lawsuit filed by civil rights attorneys on behalf of three Venezuelan migrants flown to Martha’s Vineyard from Texas said unnamed people working with Governor DeSantis identified and targeted migrants by “trolling streets outside of a migrant shelter” in San Antonio, “pretending to be good samaritans and offering humanitarian assistance”.

The lawsuit alleges they were lured to the flights with McDonald’s gift cards and other gift certificates.

Ron DeSantis’s team lured migrants with $10 McDonald’s gift cards, lawsuit says

ICYMI: Ron DeSantis breaks fundraising record for governors

13:00 , Alex Woodward

Ron DeSantis broke a fundraising record for a US gubernatorial campaign by raising $175.8m for his campaign committee and affiliated political action committee, according to a disclosure he filed last week.

His latest fundraising haul comes as he faces a federal class action lawsuit and potential investigations tied to his $12m state-funded plan to fly migrants out of Texas to Democratic-led states and cities.

Ron DeSantis breaks fundraising record for governors