The brochure lists refugee services such as cash and housing assistance, clothing, transportation to job interviews, vocational training, and assistance with enrolling children in school.
One of the Venezuelan immigrants, who spoke to CNN on condition of anonymity for fear of negative impact on the immigration case, shared an image of the pamphlet. I informed the immigrants that they were being treated as refugees, but they were not told about the differences between the programs for refugees and asylum seekers.
Migrants are often asylum seekers, not refugees. Refugees apply for protection abroad and are admitted through the Refugee Immigration Program, while asylum seekers apply in the United States.
DeSantis’ move was sharply condemned by the White House, Democratic officials, and immigration lawyers who allege immigrants were misled as to their final destination.
At a press conference on Friday, DeSantis said everyone has signed a waiver and knows where it’s going. “Obviously that was their intention,” he said, adding, “It’s all voluntary.”
“Massachusetts welcomes you”
A pamphlet now posted online by a group of lawyers representing many of the cases shows a picture of what appears to be a road sign reading “Massachusetts welcomes you” and a nondescript lighthouse. photos are posted. It also provides a brief summary of what resettlement agencies can do for refugees in both English and Spanish texts.
The brochure also lists phone numbers for the Massachusetts Department of Refugees and Immigration, but CNN said this was not a document issued by their office.
The front includes a photo of Massachusetts and a list of community service agencies located on Martha’s Vineyard and at least one on Cape Cod.
The list includes numbers for Martha’s Vineyard Community Services. Martha’s Vineyard Community Services eventually took in the immigrants and helped them find their first homes at the island’s church.
Oren Sellstrom, head of litigation at civil rights attorney Boston, who represents many of the immigrants, said that when his clients left Texas, they were waiting for everything advertised in the brochures when they arrived. He said he expects to be there.
Lawyers are investigating where the booklet came from, when it was given to immigrants and why, the group said.
In an interview with Fox News Monday night, DeSantis again defended sending the migrants to Massachusetts, saying, “Vendors doing this in Florida send them packets with maps of Martha’s Vineyard. It had numbers for various services at Martha’s, vineyards, and all agencies dealing with immigrants and refugees in Massachusetts.”
It was not clear if he was referring to the pamphlet in question.
Two of the migrants previously told CNN that while they were in San Antonio, two women and a man approached them on the street near the Immigration Resource Center and decided to go on the trip. rice field.
One of the migrants, Wilmar Villazana, said he stayed at the hotel five days before his flight and was well taken care of. Vijazana said the women are from Orlando and work for a private organization that raises money to help immigrants, she said.
Most immigrants are not eligible to participate in the program mentioned in the brochure
“The types of programs discussed here are not typically available to immigrants,” Sellstrom explained. , which is highly misleading in the sense that this support was used to lure clients to travel under the guise of being available.”
Most immigrants sent to Martha’s Vineyard are processed by federal authorities and go through an immigration process where immigration officers ultimately determine whether they can remain in the United States. Given your status as an asylum seeker rather than a refugee, you may not be eligible for the benefits mentioned in the brochure.
Refugees are eligible for benefits available through the federal government, such as cash assistance and medical assistance. Generally, asylum seekers are not eligible for federally-funded benefits, but they can receive some assistance if asylum is granted.
After the office of Republican Massachusetts Governor Charlie Baker voluntarily transferred the migrants, the migrants continued to receive humanitarian services at Joint Base Cape Cod, operating more than 100 National Guardsmen.
Massachusetts U.S. Attorney Rachel Rollins told reporters Thursday that Gov. DeSantis is talking to members of the Justice Department about sending immigrants to Martha’s Vineyard.