The Bexar County Sheriff’s Office has opened an investigation after they said the large group of migrants sent to Martha’s Vineyard last week were “lured” into boarding the planes in San Antonio.
According to Sheriff Javier Salazar, law enforcement officials believe that a Venezuelan migrant was paid a “bird-dog” fee to recruit the group in the area around a migrant resource center in San Antonio. According to Salazar, the migrants were residing in the Unite States legally when they were approached about the possibility of relocating to a destination with promised work.
“They have every right to be where they are and I believed that they were preyed upon. Somebody came from out of state and preyed upon these people. Lured them with promises of a better life, which is what they were absolutely looking for, with the knowledge that they were going to cling to whatever hope they could be offered,” said Salazar. “To just be exploited and hoodwinked into making this trip to Florida and then onward to Martha’s Vineyard for what I believe to be nothing more than political posturing. To make a point.”
Florida Governor Ron DeSantis had previously claimed that his deportation program was responsible for the migrants’ arrival on Martha’s Vineyard.
Salazar also stated that the sheriff’s office believed that the migrants were taken to Martha’s Vineyard for a photo-op before being “unceremoniously” left on the island.
The Sheriff’s Office also tweeted out that they working with the private attorneys representing the victims.
Additionally, we are working with private attorneys who are representing the victims, as well as advocacy organizations regarding this incident. We are also preparing to work with any federal agencies that have concurrent jurisdiction, should the need arise.
— Bexar County Sheriff’s Office (@BexarCoSheriff) September 19, 2022
Salazar stated that it is way too early too release the name of the suspects involved in the case but reiterated his frustration with the situation.
We all know that during a political campaign, things can get nasty, things can get out of hand but when you’re playing with human lives of people that are already in a desperate situation, again people that had every right to be where they were, but were lured onto false pretenses, that does tend to bother me quite a bit,” said Salazar.
The migrants are currently staying at Joint Base Cape Cod in Bourne.
The Bexar County Sheriff Office livestream can be viewed here.
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