The woman who recruited migrants to fly from Texas to Martha’s Vineyard under a plan by Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis has been identified by CNN as Perla Huerta, a former Army counterintelligence agent.
Some of the 50 migrants who were flown to the tony Massachusetts island said a woman named “Perla” promised them housing and jobs if they took the flights, though some say they were misled.
No one on Martha’s Vineyard knew they were coming. Mr. DeSantis, a Republican, said the liberal enclave needed to get a sense of what it’s like to absorb an influx of migrants.
CNN said a friend of Ms. Huerta identified her in a photo provided by a migrant, and The New York Times said others have identified her from photos taken in San Antonio.
The cable news outlet said it sought comment from Ms. Huerta, who served in the Army for more than 20 years before her discharge in August.
Mr. DeSantis said migrants signed waivers and knew where they were going when they boarded the flights.
Some of the migrants filed a lawsuit saying they were led astray, a Texas sheriff began investigating whether the flights broke any laws and the White House slammed the flights as a political stunt that used migrants as “pawns.”
A recruiter who worked with “Perla” said he didn’t realize a politician was behind the flights.
“She had told me that the people who were going to Massachusetts, before I sent them, she had told me that they were going to receive them. They were going to be given shelter, a place to stay,” he said. “They were going to help them with the language, and those who had children, they were going to study.”