More details are emerging on how nearly 50 migrants, many of them from Venezuela, landed on two unexpected flights that the state of Florida sent to Martha’s Vineyard, an elegant Massachusetts holiday island, as part of a widely criticized political feat.
Migrants say they were promised papers for work, a job, and even paid to board the plane and encouraged others to join them.
A 27-year-old migrant from Venezuela named Emmanuel He said San Antonio Report that a woman named Perla had given him $ 200 from an “anonymous benefactor” to recruit other asylum seekers outside the municipal migration center in San Antonio, Texas, where the flights began.
“Perla informed me that in these shrine states, the state has benefits to help migrants,” Emmanuel said. “I was just a mediator because I like to help people.”
“A lot of people really come without plans, they want to come and just work and have a hand to give them shelter,” he added. “I just saw it this way, how cute a way, doing it for good.”
Later, passersby said they saw the man telling other migrants, “You won’t need anything” before boarding.
Both the city of San Antonio and the state of Texas have denied any direct involvement with the flights, although they were commended by Texas Governor Greg Abbott.
“Although we were not involved in those initial planes for Martha’s Vineyard, we appreciate the support in responding to this national crisis and helping the Texans” – his office He said in a statement this week. “Governor Abbott encourages and welcomes all his fellow governors to commit to border security efforts and focus on the unsuccessful and illegal efforts of the Biden-Harris administration to continue this reckless open border policy.”
Independent contacted Florida Governor Ron DeSantis, whose office Confirmed the state was in favor of the flights, for the comment.
A group of three migrants on flights described a similar experience to NPR. They said a woman named Perla told them they would get expedited papers for work and they thought they were taking them to Boston.
“She (Perla) offered to help us. Help that never came, ”said 30-year-old Venezuelan Andres Duarte. “Now we are here. We got on the plane with a vision of the future, its realization … Listen, when you don’t have money and someone offers help, well, it means a lot.”
Another group of migrants told the Associated Press that they were approached by a Latina outside a San Antonio migrant center who had promised a job and three months of living in Washington, New York, Philadelphia or Boston.
They said they had been accommodated at a nearby hotel and the woman handed them food and gift cards.
“I am not a victim”, Pedro Luis Torrelaba, 36, He said. “I just feel misled because they lied and it didn’t work.”
A group of migrants, nearly 50 people, have the right to apply for asylum in the USAand were already processed by federal officials before they were released ahead of planned lawsuits.