Photo via DeSantis/Twitter
A leading Latinx civil-rights organization is offering a $5,000 reward for information leading to the identification of a woman who allegedly lured 50 migrants in San Antonio onto flights last week that dumped them in Martha's Vineyard.
Officials with the League of United Latin American Citizens said asylum seekers stranded in the East Coast resort community said a woman who identified herself as "Perla" falsely promised them
three months of work. She also lied about the destination of the flights, claiming they were going to Boston, LULAC maintains.
In a statement, LULAC President Domingo Garcia said the group wants to ID the woman as it seeks legal action against her and others for violating the asylum seekers' parole conditions as they await immigration court dates. LULAC said it could file criminal charges with the Bexar County District Attorney’s Office.
“It’s a con woman who we believe is engaging in human trafficking [and] virtual kidnapping,” Garcia, an attorney, told Austin public radio station KUT
Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis, a potential Republican presidential contender, has taken credit
for arranging the flights, which made international headlines.
Further, Texas Gov. Greg Abbott issued a statement
saying he'd discussed Texas' program of busing migrants out of state with DeSantis prior to the flights. Abbott, who's made anti-immigrant rhetoric the centerpiece of his reelection campaign, has dumped multiple busloads of asylum seekers in Democrat-controlled cities.
Both DeSantis and Abbott said their relocation programs are meant to draw attention to the Biden administration's "open borders" policy. However, there is no such policy.
Border security officials undertook more than 1.74 million migrant apprehensions between January and June, according to federal data
. That's the highest number recorded since 1960.
In a statement emailed to the Current
, Garcia said LULAC is working to make asylum seekers aware of false promises that could be used to transport and strand them in other parts of the country.
"Clearly, ['Perla's'] actions were to use lies to lure men and women into being used as political piñatas without their knowledge," he said. "It is a crime to recruit immigrants for employment when they do not have work permits. The entire country is witnessing the shameful toll these lies have taken on people in despair, the least among us. Jesus would be very disappointed by Gov. DeSantis and Gov. Abbott."
This article first appeared at our sister publication San Antonio Current.