For several days, Massachusetts’s state Representative, Dylan Fernandes, has been urging federal investigators to look into Florida Governor Ron DeSantis after he made the decision to send approximately four dozen migrants to Martha’s Vineyard last week.
Fernandes took to Twitter on Sunday to express that progress had been made in his plight as the U.S. Attorney for Massachusetts has also begun calling for an investigation.
As a member of the Democratic party, Fernandes expressed his distaste for the actions taken by DeSantis, labeling them “morally criminal.”
He also warned that there are “legal implications” for crimes Fernandes believes DeSantis has committed, such as kidnapping and human trafficking.
Fernandes also noted that U.S. Attorney Rachael Rollins is “pushing for a response from the DOJ” as well.
“We are requesting that the Department of Justice open an investigation to hold DeSantis & others accountable for these inhumane acts,” he wrote. “Not only is it morally criminal, but there are also legal implications around fraud, kidnapping, deprivation of liberty, and human trafficking.”
“I have spoken with our US Attorney Rachel Rollins and am grateful to hear she is pushing for a response from the DOJ,” he also noted in a follow-up tweet.
Fernandes is far from the only political figure calling for such action to be taken, however. Many local officials have begun advocating for the individuals on board two flights carrying approximately fifty migrants, most hailing from Venezuela and Columbia. The flights arrived unannounced at Martha’s Vineyard Airport in Massachusetts just last week.
While the planes shared an origin of Texas, it was quickly uncovered that the office of Florida’s own Governor had arranged for the flights as part of a larger initiative.
Florida’s spokesperson touted it as a transportation program for migrants.
Those sent to Martha’s Vineyard last week were seemingly welcomed by the residents but were then ushered off to a military base in Cape Cod to secure their safety and offer them necessary housing.
Allegedly, the migrants that boarded the Texas flights did so under false pretenses, reportedly having been told that there were potential employment opportunities and various housing options available for them in their landing destination. The migrants were only told they would be landing at an airport in Massachusetts after the flight had been boarded, had taken off, and was well on its way to another state entirely.
Currently DeSantis is one of multiple GOP governors who has sent migrants and refugees to left-leaning states that are overwhelmingly Democratic, even as they complain about the immigration policies touted by Democrats.
DeSantis has since faced backlash for his actions. Various critics, some of which being immigration attorneys, have come forward to say that what Florida’s Governor chose to do amounts to both kidnapping and human trafficking, as multiple migrants on the flights told media outlets that they were enticed to make their way onto the flights by a woman named “Perla” who offered them $200 and insisted that they also sign a liability waiver.