Martha’s Vineyard migrants could qualify for special victim of crimes visas
More than 40 immigrants who were flown to Martha’s Vineyard by Florida’s Republican Gov. Ron DeSantis last month may receive special visas after a Texas sheriff certified them as victims of crime, The Post has learned.
Sheriff Javier Salazar of Democratically administered Bexar County certified the migrants as victims of “unlawful criminal restraint,” which gives them legal grounding to apply for a special “U visa” to stay in the country and then apply for permanent residency and citizenship.
“Based upon the claims of migrants being transported from Bexar County under false pretenses, we are investigating this case as possible Unlawful Restraint,” Salazar said in a statement.
The flights from Texas were arranged by DeSantis last month to bring the problems at the border — where thousands of migrants pour across daily and overwhelm cities in Texas, California and Arizona — to liberal enclaves like Martha’s Vineyard in order to force those states into action.
Reports have since come out that the migrants were told to board the planes by a woman who has since been identified as Perla Huerta, a former combat medic and counterintelligence agent, who is said to have promised them jobs and housing if they went to Massachusetts and handed them leaflets about the state.
Martha’s Vineyard — which boasts homes owned by the Obamas, former Secretary of State John Kerry, comedians Amy Schumer and Seth Myers — was immediately thrown into chaos by the arrival of two planeloads of migrants on Sept. 14, with the local tourism board calling it a “humanitarian crisis.”
Beth Folcarelli, chief executive officer of Martha’s Vineyard Community Services, told the Vineyard Gazette that the migrants “came with folders with a pamphlet with our information.”
“We don’t have refugee services, I had no idea about any of this,” she said.
Massachusetts quickly called in the National Guard to help them deal with the migrants and within three days buses had rolled up to re-house the migrants at Joint Base Cape Cod on the mainland, where most of them have remained since.
DeSantis spokeswoman Taryn Fenske said the flights to Martha’s Vineyard were “part of the state’s relocation program to transport illegal immigrants to sanctuary destinations.”
“States like Massachusetts, New York and California will better facilitate the care of these individuals who they have invited into our country by incentivizing illegal immigration through their designation as ‘sanctuary states’ and support for the Biden administration’s open border policies,” Fenske said.
Texas Gov. Greg Abbott has also enacted a similar policy and bussed migrants to Washington, New York City and Chicago, which sparked panic and anger among local mayors.
Democratic DC Mayor Muriel Bowser declared a “state of emergency” and Chicago’s Democratic Mayor Lori Lightfoot allegedly put migrants back on a bus — to a Republican-leaning suburb.
New York Gov. Kathy Hochul called more than 18,000 migrants bused to the city was a “humanitarian crisis” and that repeated pleas to President Biden for help had fallen on deaf ears.