Dozens of migrants who were flown to Martha’s Vineyard are crime victims, according to a Texas sheriff who is boosting their chances of obtaining special visas to stay in the U.S.
Bexar County Sheriff Javier Salazar said he filed certification forms so that immigration lawyers can bolster their arguments for keeping the Venezuelans in the country. The sheriff says the migrants were duped by Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis, a Republican, into flying to the tiny Massachusetts island.
“Based upon the claims of migrants being transported from Bexar County under false pretenses, we are investigating this case as possible Unlawful Restraint,” Sheriff Salazar said in a statement. “We have submitted documentation through the federal system to ensure the migrants’ availability as witnesses during the investigation.”
Lawyers said the migrants are seeking U-1 nonimmigrant visas, or U Visas, that are set aside for victims of certain crimes who suffer mental or physical abuse or can help law enforcement investigate crimes.
Sheriff Salazar, a Democrat, is investigating the DeSantis flights and claims they were flown from Texas to Florida and then Massachusetts under false pretenses.
Mr. DeSantis says that is untrue and that migrants signed waivers. He says liberal enclaves that profess to be sanctuary communities should absorb some of the influx of migrants across the southern border.