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Venezuelan refugees sue Florida governor, 'Perla' and others

Three of the Venezuelans who got booted off a plane from Texas on Martha's Vineyard today sued Florida officials and the two people with fake names - Perla and Emmanuel - who lied to get them on a plane that left them on Martha's Vineyard where, at least, people reacted by trying to help them rather than chortling about owning the libs.

In a suit brought by Lawyers for Civil Rights in US District Court in Boston, the four hope to become leaders of a class action against Florida, whose governor has pledged to spend $12 million in federal Covid-19 money to ship people to blue states, even if they're not actually in Florida.

According to the suit, which recounts how the Venezuelans were hoodwinked into getting on a plane with promises of jobs and aid for them in New York or Boston, the state of Florida spent $615,000 - $12,300 per passenger - to fly the 50 people to the island, which has no facilities to care for refugees, but where people poured in to help. Most of the people were then persuaded to get on a Yankee bus for a ferry ride and bus ride to Joint Base Cape Cod, which has dormitory-style rooms, as well as facilities to feed them and give them access to medical care, counseling and lawyers, and which was used in a similar purpose for Louisiana survivors of Hurricane Katrina.

The suit, which alleges violations of the people's civil rights and rights to due process and equal treatment, as well as false imprisonment, seeks recognition of the "fraud and misrepresentation" that brought them here, an end to the Florida program and compensatory, emotional-distress and punitive damages.

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Comments

When I saw people tweet the case... not sure what will happen, but its a start of something.

the best quote came about this, came from here:

"my plan to own the libs by dropping my kidnap victims off on cutthroat lawyer island is going exactly as planned"

(sarcastically speaking as if they were DeSantis)

He kinda messed with the wrong state. We will do something....

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How is it even possible to spend $12000 to get from TX to MA? Did they each get a personal chartered jet?

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The recipients of contracts involving public funds are connected and unaudited.

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I'm still asking where the rest of the six million that was from Covid relief went.. Total cost of the flight to MV was around 650k. Add maybe 200k for that pamphlet and other 'administrative' things/costs.. and its not even a 1/4th of it. So where's the money.

That 12k is the cost of the flight divided by how many people were on it. Waaaay over priced.

You could have sent every single one first class & a connecting flight from logan to MV on Cape Air for far less.

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News reports said each of the asylum seekers got $10 McDonalds gift cards to help entice them. So that’s got to have cost Florida at least $100,000 when you include the contractor fees.

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Plus recruiting inter-state "Coyotes" doesn't come cheap you know. I'm sure Perla and Emmanuel were well compensated for their efforts.

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That was specifically hired for this. They no longer exist or have a website from what I heard last night on the news.

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Well there's a shocker! Unfortunately for them, planes leave two trails behind. One is mainly water vapor. The other is paper. I'd guess that, starting with the air traffic control logs at Martha's Vineyard, it wouldn't be too hard to work your way backwards to a couple of actual human beings responsible if you knew what you were doing and had the right access.

This stunt had two objectives. Obviously he wanted to score points with xenophobic voters in the event that he runs for president. But this was also a grift to funnel money to his donors. That's why it cost so much. He was explicitly not trying to do this on the cheap.

for kidnapping, which includes carrying away by trickery and fraud

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They should sue and each person should be fairly compensated. The judge should also tack on a huge settlement to go towards a non profit that works with immigrants as well. In addition using COVID-19 funds to transport people like this sounds extremely shady. Even more so when it was used out of state. Esoecislly more so when people working under fake names were compensated. Add on human trafficking and kidnapping and all that happening across state borders you have some really interesting regulations to look into.

My friends who like these politicians can't understand why I find their support so reprehensible. This isn't "just politics" this is outright kidnapping and human trafficking. End of sentence. As much as I disagree with many conservative policies, even ones that take aim at me personally, I can take a deep breath and deal with it if they stay rational and don't pull stunts or call people names. Storming the capitol is unacceptable, the awful vocal attacks are unacceptable, kidnapping is unacceptable. Just because you slap the word "politics" on a crime doesn't make it exempt.

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So every single resident of Florida must have housing and food and education covered to be able to throw $12 million dollars away like this?! It's like a bad reality TV show. And how is it OK to spend covid relief funds in manner, no one must be asking questions when they hand out money down there . I'd be so mad if I lived in Florida!

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I live in Florida, and I’m pissed.

And yes, there is a LOT of better things Desantis can be spending our money and his time on. Homeowner insurance for one, or affordable housing for another. But he’s too busy running for president to be concerned with what’s going on locally.

Despite the fact that it will cost me money, I do hope this lawsuit is successful. I also think the federal government should claw back funds which were given to the state for assisting migrants since we’re just pawning them off on other states.

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he’s too busy running for president

I recall liking and voting for Mitt Romney. That is until he decided to run for President and started doing everything to show the country how conservative he was. He'd travel to other states and complain about the liberals back at home. He even tried to disown Romneycare, even though it was one of his biggest successes.

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The most risible part was when he paid for his lifetime NRA membership and bought a varmint gun and pretended like he knew which end makes the loud noise.

I live in Florida, and I’m pissed.

And yes, there is a LOT of better things Desantis can be spending our money and his time on. Homeowner insurance for one, or affordable housing for another. But he’s too busy running for president to be concerned with what’s going on locally.

Despite the fact that it will cost me money, I do hope this lawsuit is successful. I also think the federal government should claw back funds which were given to the state for assisting migrants since we’re just pawning them off on other states.

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As journalist Adam Serwer said about Trump, "The cruelty is the point". I guarantee you that a lot of voters in Florida think that was $12 million well spent.

Good luck!

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may want to get her affairs in order.

Something just struck me. If we assume for the sake of argument that the facts are as the plaintiffs have described, wouldn't that mean DeSantis and company had committed a number of serious crimes? IANAL (to my parents' chagrin) but I don't see how kidnapping people by deception can be legal.

Not only that, but the alleged conspiracy allegedly transported the plaintiffs across state lines and through US airspace. I have not become a lawyer since the last paragraph, but wouldn't that automatically establish Federal jurisdiction? If so, DeSantis might not like what happens if he gets tried in a Federal district where he has little influence and is not well liked--like the District of Massachusetts.

I'm worried that this is just wishful thinking, so again, if anyone who actually knows the law would like to offer some legal-themed entertainment, I for one am all ears. Eyes. Whatever.