A Texas county sheriff’s workplace on Monday introduced it could examine the transportation of Venezuelan migrants to Martha’s Winery final week, a controversial operation Florida’s Republican governor, Ron DeSantis, took credit score for.

The Bexar County Sheriff’s Workplace mentioned it had launched a probe into the operation, which it mentioned transported migrants who had been housed at a shelter in San Antonio to Florida and subsequently to the Massachusetts island.

“The Bexar County Sheriff’s Workplace has opened an investigation into the migrants that have been lured from the Migrant Useful resource Heart, positioned in Bexar County, TX, and flown to Florida, the place they have been finally left to fend for themselves in Martha’s Winery, MA,” the workplace mentioned in a press release.

The sheriff’s workplace mentioned it was in communication with attorneys representing the affected migrants, referring to them as “victims.” The workplace mentioned it was additionally ready to collaborate with federal authorities, who some Democrats and advocates have urged to launch a legal investigation into Florida’s actions.

The transportation of roughly 50 Venezuelan migrants by airplane to Martha’s Winery despatched native officers on the island scrambling to seek out shelter, meals and different companies to accommodate the abrupt and unannounced arrival.

The incident additionally reignited a nationwide debate over U.S. border coverage, with Massachusetts officers, the Biden administration and Democrats accusing Florida of utilizing determined asylum-seekers as props in a political stunt.

Venezuelan Migrants
Volunteers collect in a circle earlier than serving to Venezuelan migrants board busses outdoors of St. Andrew’s Parish Home. Two planes of migrants from Venezuela arrived all of the sudden two days prior inflicting the area people to mobilize and create a makeshift shelter on the church.

Getty Photographs


DeSantis, in the meantime, mentioned he would proceed sending migrants launched from federal border custody to Democratic-led jurisdictions which have adopted so-called “sanctuary” insurance policies, which restrict native cooperation with federal immigration authorities.

In response to information of the investigation, DeSantis’ communication director Taryn Fenske mentioned, “Immigrants have been greater than keen to depart Bexar County after being deserted, homeless, and ‘left to fend for themselves.’ Florida gave them a chance to hunt greener pastures in a sanctuary jurisdiction that supplied larger assets for them, as we anticipated.” 

“Until the MA nationwide guard has deserted these people, they’ve been supplied lodging, sustenance, clothes and extra choices to succeed following their unfair enticement into america, in contrast to the 53 immigrants who died in a truck discovered deserted in Bexar County this June,” Fenske mentioned in a press release to CBS Information.

The operation to move migrants to Martha’s Winery is a part of a broader, months-long effort by some Republican governors to rebuke President Biden’s dealing with of the report variety of border arrests reported over the previous yr by sending migrants to Democratic-controlled states and cities.

Underneath operations licensed by Republican governors Greg Abbott and Doug Ducey, Texas and Arizona have despatched roughly 13,000 migrants by bus to Washington, D.C.; New York; and Chicago, angering the cities’ Democratic mayors, who’ve expressed considerations about their capability to accommodate the brand new arrivals.

Whereas advocates of asylum-seemed have denounced the busing operations by Texas and Arizona, which the states have mentioned are voluntary, their criticism of the Martha’s Winery drop-off has been extra pronounced, given the accounts of migrants despatched there.

Attorneys representing greater than two dozen migrants flown to Martha’s Winery mentioned their purchasers have been misled by the individuals who transported them. In response to the attorneys, the migrants mentioned they have been initially informed they have been going to Boston and a spot with jobs and refugee companies.

Venezuelan Migrants
A bus carrying Venezuelan migrants from Marthas Winery arrives off of a freight ferry in Woods Gap.

John Tlumacki/The Boston Globe through Getty Photographs


Attorneys for Civil Rights, the Boston-based group representing migrants flown to Martha’s Winery, over the weekend requested federal prosecutors and the Massachusetts lawyer basic to launch legal investigations into their claims. 

California Gov. Gavin Newsom, a Democrat, made the same request, urging the Justice Division to analyze whether or not migrants have been focused by state officers due to their nationwide origin, in violation of the 14th Modification’s equal safety clause.

The Justice Division has to date declined to touch upon the incident.

Massachusetts officers on Friday transported the Venezuelan asylum-seekers flown to Martha’s Winery to Joint Base Cape Cod, a navy set up on the U.S. mainland that the state’s Republican Governor, Charlie Baker, transformed into a short lived shelter for the migrants.