Migrants flown to Martha's vineyard by Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis can sue flight company


Migrants who were flown to Martha’s Vineyard nearly two years ago on charter flights coordinated by Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis can sue the aviation company that transported them, a Massachusetts federal judge ruled on Monday. 

Fifty Venezuelans were flown in 2022 to Martha’s Vineyard — famously known as a playground of rich progressives — from San Antonio, Texas, and had been promised work and housing.

Under the terms of the ruling, the migrants can proceed with a lawsuit against Florida-based Vertol Systems Co., which coordinated the flights for $1.5 million. 

Fox News Digital has reached out to the company. 

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Illegal immigrants at Martha's Vineyard

Migrants arrive at Martha’s Vineyard Airport on Wednesday, Sept. 14, 2022. A Massachusetts federal judge said the migrants can sue the Florida-based flight company.  (Video obtained by Fox News)

“These facts, taken together, support an inference that Vertol and the other Defendants specifically targeted Plaintiffs because they were Latinx immigrants,” the 77-page ruling from U.S. District Judge Allison D. Burroughs states. 

DeSantis was named in a lawsuit but was dropped by the judge, citing “insufficient facts” presented in the case. 

Burroughs said the court could not “ascertain what actions were taken by whom and therefore cannot determine which, if any, of those individual Defendants transacted business or caused injury here, leaving it no choice but to find that, at least on this record, personal jurisdiction has not been established.” 

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Ron DeSantis

Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis (AP Photo)

DeSantis, like his counterpart in Texas, had the migrants flown to the Massachusetts island to highlight the Biden administration’s border policies, which have been heavily criticized by Republicans amid record-numbers of illegal immigrants entering the U.S. 

His office told Fox News Digital that the flights were “conducted lawfully and authorized by the Florida Legislature.”

“We look forward to Florida’s next illegal immigrant relocation flight, and we are glad to bring national attention to the crisis at the southern border,” said DeSantis Deputy Press Secretary Julia Friedland.

Migrants in Martha's Vineyard

Migrants were flown to Martha’s Vineyard in September 2022. (Ray Ewing/Vineyard Gazette via AP)

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Residents on the island were caught off guard and scrambled to provide resources for them upon their arrival. The National Guard was eventually activated in response. 

The migrants were loaded onto buses after two days and taken to military housing on the Cape Cod mainland.

Fox News Digital’s Bradford Betz contributed to this report. 



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