Texas Sheriff faces ‘influx’ of threats for investigating DeSantis sending migrant flights to northeast

The Florida governor claims that the migrants boarded the flights willingly

Gino Spocchia
Wednesday 21 September 2022 12:42 EDT

Sheriff says migrants were ‘lured’ onto flights to Massachusetts

The Texas sheriff probing Florida Governor Ron DeSantis’s deportation of migrants last week has said his office has received numerous “hateful emails” and threats following the announcement.

On Wednesday, a spokesperson for the Bexar County Sheriff said “there have been numerous threats, an influx of calls to our dispatch and administrative offices, along with hateful emails received” since the announcement of the investigation, Vice News was first to report.

“Additionally, as in any instance when our office receives threats precautionary measures will be made for safety of all personnel,” the spokesperson added.

Bexar County Sheriff Javier Salazar said on Saturday that he was working with “attorneys who are representing the victims as well as advocacy organisations” following an outcry over the stunt, which see two planes fly more than 50 Venezuelan migrants from Flordia to the exclusive island off Martha’s Vineyard off Massachusetts.

Mr DeSantis, who says the migrants volunteered to be flown from Texas to Massachusetts via Florida, has been accused of “luring” the migrants with with false “promises of a better life” in Boston, Massachusetts.

Some of those migrants - mainly Venezuelans - announced a lawsuit against Mr DeSantis on Tuesday alleging a “fraudulent and discriminatory scheme” to transport a group of people, including families with small children, as part of a political stunt.

The lawsuit, which was filed in federal court in Boston, alleges that the migrants were told they were going to Boston or Washington DC and were persuaded with incentives such as McDonald’s gift cards worth $10, the Associated Press reported.

Ivan Espinoza-Madrigal, the executive director of a civil rights group which filed the lawsuit on behalf of the migrants, said “No human being should be used as a political pawn” on Tuesday.

A spokesperson for Mr DeSantis responded by accusing human rights campaigners and Democrats of “political theater” with the lawsuits and condemnation, although without poviding evidence against the claim migrants were “lured”.

It remains unclear what, if any, laws were broken by Mr DeSantis and another Republican governor, Texas’s Greg Abott, for transporting migrants from places of relative safety and across state lines. Mr Abott has also come under fire for busing a group of migrants to Washington DC.

The Independent has approached the sheriff’s office for comment.

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