BEXAR COUNTY, Texas (WGFL) — A Texas sheriff opened an investigation into two flights of approximately 50 migrants from San Antonio, Texas, sent to Martha’s Vineyard by Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis.
Bexar County Sheriff Javier Salazar spoke at a news conference Monday, making it the only time law enforcement officials said they would look into the flights.
The conference came after immigration advocates and lawyers called for a criminal investigation into DeSantis' effort to move the migrants under a $12 million program focused on relocating "unauthorized aliens."
“We are opening up a case, an investigation, with regard to the suspected activities involving the 48 migrants from Venezuela,” Salazar said.
The sheriff said that the group of Venezuelan migrants were “lured” from a migrant resource center into traveling to Martha’s Vineyard “under false pretenses.”
Salazar mentions a recruiter was paid a "bird dog fee" to gather roughly 50 people around a San Antonio migrant resource center.
“What infuriates me the most about this case is that here we have 48 people that are already on hard times, they are here legally in our country at that point, they have every right to be where they are, and I believe that they were preyed upon,” he said.
DeSantis flew the group of migrants north Wednesday to reestablish "liberal vs. conservative" immigration policies.
Democrats and immigration advocates had called for a look into DeSantis’ actions, suggesting he may have broken laws against fraud or human trafficking.
Salazar claims that the migrants from San Antonio were “exploited and hoodwinked into making this trip to Florida and then onward to Martha’s Vineyard for what I believe to be nothing more than political posturing to make a point.”