Migrants Ron DeSantis Sent To Martha’s Vineyard Can Sue Charter Company

Source: Flickr/Gage Skidmore

A district court judge recently ruled that the migrants flown to Martha’s Vineyard in September 2002 by Florida Governor Ron DeSantis are able to proceed with their case against the charter flight company involved. Multiple reports confirm that the ruling, which involves flight company Vertol Systems Co., was passed late last week.

Judge Rules That Charter Flight Company Must Face Eight Counts

The district court judge officially dismissed several counts that were levied against Vertol Systems, a Florida-based company. One report claims that there were three counts dismissed as part of the decision.

Source: Pixabay

However, the judge also ruled that Vertol must continue to face the eight remaining counts filed against the company. The state actors were also dismissed as defendants within the case, including Florida Governor Ron DeSantis.

DeSantis Dismissed As State Actor After Court Identified Lack Of Jurisdiction

Multiple reports confirm that Governor Ron DeSantis was dismissed from the case as a state actor. Apparently, the court determined that the court did not have the jurisdiction needed to retain his involvement in the case.

Source: Wikimedia/Gage Skidmore

Other officials were named in the suit as well in addition to DeSantis. However, due to the same lack of jurisdiction, the claims against them specifically were also dismissed.

Judge Dismissed Claims Against DeSantis ‘Without Prejudice’

According to the report, U.S. District Judge Allison Burroughs dismissed the claims filed against Governor DeSantis and other key members of his administration. However, this was reportedly done “without prejudice.”

Source: Pixabay/Daniel Bone

This means that the attorneys assigned to represent the migrants with the case are not completely shut out from using DeSantis at a later stage of the case. Since the dismissal was done “without prejudice,” they can bring DeSantis and the others back into the case at a later date.

Three Venezuelan Migrants Filed Lawsuit Against Charter Flight Company

There were three migrants from Venezuela at the center of the lawsuit filed against the charter flight company. The migrants reportedly joined forces with an immigrant rights group to file the lawsuit.

Source: Pixabay/Hector Medina

The migrants claimed that Governor DeSantis involved other members from his administration in a conspiracy to mislead them.

More Details About The Alleged Conspiracy, Deprivation Of Civil Rights

According to reports, the migrants involved with the lawsuit claim that DeSantis and other administration members worked with an air transport company to allegedly conspire against them. The alleged conspiracy plot was to mislead the migrants and deprive them each of their civil rights.

Source: Pixabay/Markus Winkler

The migrants were recruited and flown to Martha’s Vineyard in 2022. The migrants – who were identified as “Pablo”, “Yanet”, and “Jesus” were apparently told that they were going to Massachusetts instead.

Migrants Reportedly Had No Idea They Were Going To Martha’s Vineyard

As mentioned, the migrants were reportedly told that the plane would take them to Massachusetts. However, it was not until they arrived that they realized exactly where they were located.

Source: Pixabay/Kathy Barclay

Multiple reports confirm that the migrants were not made aware that they were at Martha’s Vineyard until shortly before the plane landed.

Plaintiffs Claim Videographer Was Hired To Record Their Arrival

The plaintiffs of the lawsuit claimed that a videographer was even involved during the experience as well. According to the filing, the videographer was hired by Governor DeSantis’s administration.

Source: Pixabay/StockSnap

The videographer reportedly recorded the migrants as they arrived. They also recorded the migrants while they boarded vans. However, no one else at Martha’s Vineyard was informed in advance of their arrival.

Migrants Were Allegedly Promised Work, Better Housing, and Educational Opportunities

The migrants reportedly boarded two separate flights from San Antonio, Texas on September 14, 2022. The migrants were allegedly promised that they would receive better housing options by taking the flight.

Source: Pixabay/Oleksandr Pidvalynyi

In addition, they were allegedly told that they would receive better work and educational opportunities by doing so as well.

GOP Governors Have Transported Migrants To Various Locations In The Past

GOP governors, including Florida Governor Ron DeSantis, have reportedly transported migrants to various locations over the years. One report shows that they have used airplanes and buses to get migrants to the scheduled destinations.

Source: Pixabay/StockSnap

Such locations include New York, Chicago, and Massachusetts. One report claims this was done in an attempt to allow liberal locations to experience the impact felt by lax immigration policies.

Judge Claims Vertol, Defendants ‘Were Not Legitimately Enforcing’ Immigration Laws

Judge Burroughs provided the details of her ruling within a 77-page filing. Burroughs stated that “Vertol and the other defendants here were not legitimately enforcing any immigration laws.”

Source: Pixabay/Ralph

She added that the “Court sees no legitimate purpose for rounding up highly vulnerable individuals on false pretenses.” She expanded by stating that Vertol and the defendants focused on “publicly injecting them into a divisive national debate.”

Judge Ruled That Plaintiffs Were ‘Exploited’ To ‘Boost The National Profile’ Of DeSantis

Judge Burroughs wrote in her ruling that the defendants “exploited” the plaintiffs. The purpose of the exploitation was “a scheme to boost the national profile of Defendant DeSantis and manipulate them for political ends.”

Source: Pixabay/Neven Divkovic

Burroughs also highlighted that images of the plaintiffs “were captured and sent to national news media.” She further stated that this type of treatment “is nothing short of extreme, outrageous, uncivilized, intolerable, and stunning.”

Judge Says Lawyers Alleged Migrants Were Targeted For Photo Op Purposes

Judge Burroughs also ruled that the lawyers for the migrants were able to provide sufficient ground for their allegations against the defendants. She noted that the migrants were targeted since they were all from South America.

Source: Pixabay/Robert Owen-Wahl

Since there were “Latinx,” this presented another opportunity that the defendants allegedly exploited. According to the judge, their Latinx heritage made them “better props in Defendants’ photo op.”

Civil Rights Group Lawyers Called Ruling ‘A Major Victory’ For The Case

Lawyers for Civil Rights, the group that represents the migrants involved, described the ruling as “a major victory in the Martha’s Vineyard case.” The group added that it also sends a crucial message.

Source: Pixabay/Leandro Aguilar

According to the lawyers, the message was that private companies will “be held accountable for helping rogue state actors violate the rights of vulnerable immigrants.” It added that this violation was done “through illegal and fraudulent schemes.”

Vertol Lawyer Claims Civil Rights Group Is ‘Once Again Mistaken In Their Analysis’

Brian Kelly, an attorney that is representing Vertol in this case, pointed the finger back at Lawyers for Civil Rights. He stated that the group is “once again mistaken in their analysis of the situation.”

Source: Pixabay/Scholacantorum

Kelly also stated that he and his client are “pleased that most of the case has now been dismissed.” 

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Sally Reed

Written by Sally Reed

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