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Texas authorities have opened a criminal investigation into Florida Governor Ron DeSantis’ flight last week that took about 50 Venezuelan migrants to Martha’s Vineyard, Massachusetts. Javier Salazar, the sheriff of Bexar County, where San Antonio is located, said in a press release Monday that his office is investigating whether the migrants were victims of crimes:
The Bexar County Sheriff’s Office has opened an investigation into the migrants who were lured from the Migrant Resource Center, located in Bexar County, TX, and flown to Florida, where they were ultimately left to fend for themselves. same at Martha’s Vineyard, MA.
Additionally, we are working with private lawyers representing victims, as well as advocacy organizations regarding this incident. We are also preparing to work with all federal agencies that have concurrent jurisdiction, should the need arise.
Salazar held a Facebook Live press conference on the Bexar County Sheriff’s Office page, answering questions from reporters.
“What we understand is that a Venezuelan migrant was paid a dog-bird fee to recruit 50 migrants who were then lured – and I’ll use the word lured under false pretenses – to stay in a hotel for a few days and then taken on a plane where they were flown to Florida and then to Martha’s Vineyard under false pretenses to be offered jobs,” Salazar says. “For what we can muster, a little more than ‘a photo shoot, a video shoot, and then they were left there.”
The sheriff continued to explain his anger over the incident and the false promises that brought the migrants onto the plane.
“What infuriates me the most is that we have 48 people here legally – they have every right to be here and they have been preyed upon. Lured by promises of a better life and knowing that they would cling to whatever was offered for a better life and were exploited and tricked into making the trip to Florida for what I believe to be political posturing.”
“When you play with human lives, people who have every right to be here, that tends to bother me a bit. We are absolutely investigating that.”
Salazar added that the White House has not been in contact with his office, but he welcomes open communication.
“This matter should absolutely move to the federal level, and I would welcome a call from the White House to discuss it.”
Salazar wanted to be as clear as possible to remind viewers that migrants are legally in the United States and have every right to roam freely and not be preyed upon or lured into a situation in which they do not have not chosen to be.
“If someone is here and they are here illegally and they have no papers, they have the right not to be victimized. They have the right not to be lured to another state with false promises. That being said, these people were here legally. They have been documented. . They had the right to roam the streets freely and not be transported across the country for this to be a media event. is a tragedy. It’s a type of crime at worst. We’re going to look at how far we can hold people accountable.”