Judge Dismisses Lawsuit and DeSantis Wins in Legal Battle

(BrightPress.org) – A federal judge in Massachusetts has dismissed claims against Florida Governor Ron DeSantis in a suit filed by migrants who were flown to Martha’s Vineyard in 2022. Three of the migrants claim they were recruited as part of a group of about 50, to be flown from Texas to Massachusetts with the promise of housing and jobs once they arrived. They did not know their final destination and claimed that the people of Martha’s Vineyard were not notified in advance of their arrival.

Lawyers for Civil Rights Boston filed the lawsuit against DeSantis, members of his administration, and the transportation company Vertol. In a 77-page filing, U.S. District Judge Allison Burroughs dismissed the claims against DeSantis and his administration “with prejudice” after finding “insufficient facts” were presented to link them to any illegal acts in Massachusetts, therefore finding “personal jurisdiction has not been established.”

Jeremy Redfern, spokesperson for DeSantis praised the ruling saying the flights were conducted lawfully. He added that Florida is “glad to bring national attention” to the southern border crisis.

Burroughs ruled that the plaintiffs could proceed with a lawsuit against the air transport company Vertol, which was paid $1.5 million to transport them to Martha’s Vineyard. She wrote that Vertol and the other Defendants were not “legitimately enforcing” any laws but were instead “rounding up highly vulnerable individuals” for publicity by placing them in the middle of a national debate.

Ivan Espinoza-Madrigal, the executive director for Lawyers for Civil Rights Boston said the ruling in the Martha’s Vineyard case sends a “crucial message” to private companies who chose to participate in “illegal and fraudulent schemes” that violate the civil rights of immigrants. Espinoza-Madrigal said the plaintiffs will continue to pursue claims against DeSantis and others involved and will seek additional information to be used in a potential future lawsuit.

Brian Kelly, an attorney for Vertol, said they are pleased with the progress of the case and he believes the Lawyers for Civil Rights group is “mistaken” in their interpretation of the situation.

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