DELRAY BEACH, Fla. (WPEC) — Lawyers for Civil Rights and Alianza Americas held a press conference Wednesday after the organizations filed a lawsuit on September 20 accusing Florida Governor Ron DeSantis and the State of Florida of deliberately tricking a group of nearly 50 people to board a plane from Texas to Martha’s Vineyard.
According to the organizations, the federal lawsuit aims to hold Gov. DeSantis accountable for the fraudulent transportation of migrants.
The Lawyers call DeSantis moving the migrants a political stunt. They said they plan to block the governor from doing this again and endangering lives.
The lawsuit was filed in the United States District Court.
The Plaintiffs allege the governor and his accomplices "designed and executed a premeditated, fraudulent, and illegal scheme."
The executive director of Lawyers for Civil Rights, Ivan Espinoza says the 50 migrants, most of whom were from Venezuela were targeted and lured to Martha's Vineyard with false promises of cash and jobs.
The brochure, was an official-looking document that was put together by defendants placed in shiny red folders and handed out to the migrants."
“The brochure, was an official-looking document that was put together by defendants placed in shiny red folders and handed out to the migrants,” said Espinoza.
The DeSantis campaign tells fox news that every migrant signed waivers provided in English and Spanish before the flight, but Espinoza says that was not the case.
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“The consent forms themselves are further evidence against the defendants. They clearly show the material information about how the relocation would occur, where they would go was not included in the form, especially in the Spanish translation portion of the form," he said.
Boca Raton-based attorney Alan Siegle says lawsuits against states or public officials like the governor typically don't pan out, but he said the suit is strong in one area.
You can make a strong argument that some of the conduct by the public officials under the color of the law may amount to human trafficking and could potentially be construed as kidnapping."
"You can make a strong argument that some of the conduct by the public officials under the color of the law may amount to human trafficking and could potentially be construed as kidnapping,” said Siegle.
But Siegle says the basis of the suit is weak.
“The allegations themselves, they’re going to be very difficult to prove that the conduct would amount to such atrocities or such crimes as are alleged within the complaint itself...the likelihood of it continuing further than it already has is very unlikely.”
The Governor committed to spending $12 million allocated in state funds to move migrants. No other migrants have been reported as moved.