State Lawmakers Urge DOT to Investigate DeSantis Sending Migrants to MA

MARTHA’S VINEYARD – Massachusetts lawmakers including U.S. Senator Ed Markey and U.S. Representative Bill Keating have joined an effort urging the U.S. Department of Transportation (DOT) to investigate whether Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis misled 48 Venezuelan migrants onto flights bound for Martha’s Vineyard.

The lawmakers say they want the Department to examine whether the incident violates the Charter-Broker Rule, which prohibits brokers from misrepresenting the destination of a charter flight.

Some of the migrants told local authorities that they were unaware of their destination upon arrival in Martha’s Vineyard.

“Specifically, in their letter, the Senators outline that Vertol Systems Company, Inc. appears to have signed a $1.6 million contract with the State of Florida to relocate the asylum seekers, and then appears to have hired Ultimate Jet Charters to operate the flights. Vertol likely constituted a charter-broker subject to DOT rules in the transaction. Similarly, individuals and potentially even the State of Florida and its officers may also qualify as charter brokers,” wrote the lawmakers in their letter to the DOT.

Markey and other lawmakers also recently urged the U.S. Treasury to investigate whether the relocation misused COVID-19 relief funds. Some of the migrants have also sued Gov. DeSantis and his transportation secretary for engaging in a “fraudulent and discriminatory scheme” to relocate them.

The full letter to the DOT can be viewed here

About Grady Culhane

Grady Culhane is a Cape Cod native currently living in Eastham. He studied media communications at Cape Cod Community College and joined the News Center in 2019.
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