In September, Florida Governor Ron DeSantis used primarily Venezuelan migrants and asylum seekers in a political stunt. The governor’s agents lured migrants and asylum seeking men, women, and children in San Antonio, Texas onto a Massachusetts-bound plane with a misleading brochure labelled ‘Refugee Migrant Benefits’ that promised them aid, including cash assistance. The plane abandoned the migrants unannounced on the isolated resort island Martha’s Vineyard, leaving local social service organizations scrambling to help them.
Migrants and asylum seekers, like refugees, come to the United States seeking safety and security, often leaving behind persecution, poverty, general violence, and other conflicts. By removing asylum seekers from the jurisdiction where they registered their applications for asylum, the governor threatened the success of their cases because asylum law requires those applying to return for court dates where they filed their cases.
Open Doors strongly condemns anyone making false promises to migrants or interfering with asylum seekers’ right to a fair hearing.
- We stand by the human right to seek asylum and be protected from deportation to a persecuting country.
- We stand by the compassion of the Massachusetts people who immediately responded with assistance and empathy.
- We stand by cities like Chicago and New York who have recently welcomed new migrants bussed or flown there in similar operations.
If you would like to help, you may make donations to the Boston, Massachusetts branch of Lawyers for Civil Rights; they are providing the migrants with legal services and helping the asylum seekers bring a class action lawsuit against Governor DeSantis among others.