- The Washington Times - Wednesday, September 21, 2022

The office of Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis criticized the class-action suit filed by migrants he flew to Martha’s Vineyard last week, saying each of the Venezuelans signed a waiver form before the flight.

A DeSantis spokeswoman showed the consent to Fox News. The form, provided in English and Spanish, read: “I agree to hold the benefactor or its designed representatives harmless of all liability arising out of or in any way relating to any injuries and damages that may occur during the agreed transport to locations outside of Texas until the final destination in Massachusetts.”

Some of the migrants filed a lawsuit Tuesday, saying the Republican governor bamboozled them into making the trip.

The migrants said they wouldn’t have made the trip had they known they were heading to the exclusive island off the coast of Massachusetts but were enticed by a $10 McDonald’s gift certificate and false promises of what they would find when they reached their destination.

The lawsuit, filed against Mr. DeSantis and other Florida officials, says if the migrants “had known that they would be deposited in Martha’s Vineyard, or that the defendants would use them as a political ploy in order to send a message about their political views on immigration, and force photographs [of them] into the national media, [they] would not … have boarded the plane to Massachusetts.”

DeSantis spokeswoman Taryn Fenske decried the lawsuit as “political theater” drummed up by activists.

SEE ALSO: Martha’s Vineyard migrants file class-action lawsuit against Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis

“If these activists spent even a fraction of this time and effort at the border, perhaps some accountability would be brought to the Biden Administration’s reckless border policies that entice illegal immigrants to make dangerous and often lethal journeys through Central America and put their lives in the hands of cartels and Coyotes,” she told Fox.

Mr. DeSantis and Texas Gov. Greg Abbott say Northeast locales that advertise themselves as sanctuary sites should absorb some of the influx pouring over the border.

Liberal leaders accepting the migrants have bemoaned the lack of coordination with their offices before migrants are sent to their districts, and the White House accused Mr. DeSantis of using the 50 Venezuelans as political pawns.

• Stephen Dinan contributed to this report.

• Tom Howell Jr. can be reached at thowell@washingtontimes.com.

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