Texas Sheriff Javier Salazar announced Monday that he was opening an investigation into the migrants who were flown to Martha’s Vineyard last week.
The office of Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis (R) fired back late Monday by noting how migrants have fared in Salazar’s jurisdiction, Bexar County.
What did Salazar say?
Salazar claimed the migrants that eventually flew to Martha’s Vineyard were “lured” away from a migrant resource center in San Antonio last week “under false pretenses.”
“Somebody came from out of state, preyed upon these people, lured them with promises of a better life, which is what they absolutely were looking for,” he said at a press conference, “to just be exploited and hoodwinked into making this trip to Florida and on to Martha’s Vineyard for what I believe to be nothing more than political posturing to make a point.”
The heavy-handed rhetoric aside, Salazar admitted he is uncertain that any laws were broken.
“I believe people need to be held accountable for it to the extent possible,” he said. “At this point, I’m not able to definitively say here’s the statute that they broke either federal, state, or local. But what I can tell you is it’s wrong just from a human rights perspective, what was done to these folks is wrong.”
He later reiterated, “I believe there is some criminal activity involved here, but at present, we are trying to keep an open mind and we are going to investigate to find out and to determine what laws were broken if that does turn out to be the case.”
Interestingly, Salazar also said that investigators have not been able to locate a single migrant who was offered the Martha’s Vineyard trip but turned it down. They have also not spoken with the migrants themselves, he said, but only a single attorney representing some of the migrants.
‘Lured under false pretenses’ Bexar County sheriff investigating after migrants flown from San Ant
How did DeSantis respond?
DeSantis has already said the migrants signed a release and were fully aware of where they were going.
On Monday, the governor’s office noted in response to Salazar that 53 migrants were tragically found dead in the back of a tractor trailer this summer. That trailer was found in Bexar County.
The statement said:
Immigrants have been more than willing to leave Bexar County after being abandoned, homeless, and ‘left to fend for themselves.’ Florida gave them an opportunity to seek greener pastures in a sanctuary jurisdiction that offered greater resources for them, as we expected. Unless the MA national guard has abandoned these individuals, they have been provided accommodations, sustenance, clothing and more options to succeed following their unfair enticement into the United States, unlike the 53 immigrants who died in a truck found abandoned in Bexar County this June.
Meanwhile, DeSantis’ office has confirmed that a brochure circulating on social media was, in fact, distributed to migrants who made the trip to Martha’s Vineyard.
— Floridau2019s Voice (@Floridau2019s Voice)