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Immigration Law

The Smoking Gun in Martha's Vineyard

Judd Legum, Popular Information, Sept. 19, 2022

"Popular Information has obtained documentary evidence that migrants from Venezuela were provided with false information to convince them to board flights chartered by Florida Governor Ron DeSantis (R). The documents suggest that the flights were not just a callous political stunt but potentially a crime. ... Popular Information ... has obtained a brochure that was provided to the migrants who ultimately agreed to the flights. It was provided to Popular Information by Lawyers for Civil Rights (LCR), a Boston-based legal organization that represents 30 of the migrants. The brochure says that migrants who arrive in Massachusetts will be eligible for numerous benefits, including "8 months cash assistance," "assistance with housing," "food," "clothing," "transportation to job interviews," "job training," "job placement," "registering children for school," "assistance applying for Social Security cards," and many other benefits. None of this, however, is true. Matt Cameron, a Boston-based immigration attorney, explained that the benefits described in the brochure are resettlement benefits available to refugees who have been referred by the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees and authorized to live in the United States. These benefits are not available in Massachusetts to the migrants who boarded the flights, who are still in the process of seeking asylum. The migrants who boarded the planes "absolutely do not have access to cash, housing, and other resettlement benefits which are provided through both federal funds and partnerships with faith-based [organizations]," Cameron said. The brochure, which is crudely designed to resemble a government document, does not explain that these benefits described are only available to specially designated refugees."