Lawyers add defendants in lawsuit over sending immigrants to Massachusetts

Washington, Nov. 29 A group of lawyers today added an airline, Florida government officials and the woman identified as Perla Huerta to the list of defendants for the transfer of immigrants from Texas to Massachusetts.

Last September, as part of a program initiated by Florida Governor Ron DeSantis, some 50 immigrants from Texas were flown to Martha’s Vineyard in Massachusetts.

The Lawyers for Civil Rights (LCR) group, in Boston, filed a lawsuit in federal court alleging that immigrants were deceived with promises of jobs and housing.

Today, the plaintiffs amended their complaint to include Vertol Systems, the airline that made the transfers; the head of public safety in Florida, Lawrence Keefe, and James Uthmeier, secretary to Governor DeSantis.

According to the plaintiffs’ lawyers, Vertol is a firm with strong political ties that, to date, has received $1.5 million from the Florida government for its role in the move.

Another defendant is the woman identified as Perla Huerta, who is accused of persuading immigrants in San Antonio that jobs and housing awaited them up north.

“This was an abuse of power and we will fight to ensure that nothing like this happens again,” said Óscar Chacón, executive director of Alianza Américas. “The use of human beings as political pawns is morally repugnant and illegal.”

For his part, Iván Expinoza Madrigal, executive director of LCR, said that “everyone involved – public or private – in this effort to exploit our clients for political or monetary gain will be held accountable.”

The 86-page amended complaint describes how, according to attorneys, DeSantis and his associates “engineered and executed a scheme to lure vulnerable Latino immigrants in Texas into boarding private flights with false promises of jobs, housing, and immigration assistance.” . EFE

jab/msc

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