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US Lawyers for Martha's Vineyard migrants plan to sue the ex-Army counterintelligence agent who reportedly helped arrange the flights

19:30  03 october  2022
19:30  03 october  2022 Source:   businessinsider.com

Despite rumors, no sign of DeSantis sending migrant plane from Texas to Delaware

  Despite rumors, no sign of DeSantis sending migrant plane from Texas to Delaware For most of Tuesday, officials in Delaware and members of the public checked the status of a charter flight that was supposed to travel from San Antonio to President Joe Biden’s home state. The plane’s scheduled flight plan bore the hallmarks of Gov. Ron DeSantis’ operation last week to fly 48 Venezuelan migrants from San Antonio to Martha’s Vineyard. It was chartered by the same company, Ultimate JetCharters, that arranged the two flights to Martha’s Vineyard last Wednesday on behalf of the state of Florida, and was one of the two planes used in that effort.

A handful of migrants stand outside of St. Andrews Episcopal Church on September 15. Two planes of migrants from Venezuela arrived suddenly Wednesday night on Martha's Vineyard. Jonathan Wiggs/The Boston Globe via Getty Images © Jonathan Wiggs/The Boston Globe via Getty Images A handful of migrants stand outside of St. Andrews Episcopal Church on September 15. Two planes of migrants from Venezuela arrived suddenly Wednesday night on Martha's Vineyard. Jonathan Wiggs/The Boston Globe via Getty Images
  • Attorneys representing Martha's Vineyard migrants said they plan to sue the ex-Army agent reportedly involved in the flights.
  • Perla Huerta, a former counterintelligence agent, convinced migrants to board the planes, the New York Times reported.
  • Dozens of migrants were flown to Martha's Vineyard last month in a move orchestrated by Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis.

Attorneys representing a group of migrants among the dozens who were flown to Martha's Vineyard by Republican Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis said on Monday they intend to sue the ex-Army counterintelligence agent who reportedly helped arrange the flights.

Dramatic rescues as boats sink off Greece; at least 21 dead

  Dramatic rescues as boats sink off Greece; at least 21 dead KYTHIRA, Greece (AP) — Residents of a Greek island pulled shipwrecked migrants to safety up steep cliffs in dramatic rescues after two boats sank in Greek waters, leaving at least 21 people dead and many still missing. The coast guard in the eastern island of Lesbos said 16 bodies of young African women and one young young man were recovered there after a dinghy carrying about 40 people sank. Ten women were rescued, while 13 other migrants were believed to be missing, coast guard officials said.

A woman named Perla Huerta, who served as a combat medic and counterintelligence agent in the US Army, was identified by The New York Times and CNN as an on-the-ground recruiter who allegedly helped convince some of the nearly 50 migrants to get onto the planes.

The migrants, mostly from Venezuela, arrived unannounced on two chartered planes from Texas at the upscale liberal Massachusetts island of Martha's Vineyard on September 14.

Lawyers for Civil Rights, a Boston-based nonprofit, has filed a federal class-action lawsuit on behalf of a group of the migrants alleging that DeSantis and other Florida officials carried out a "scheme to defraud vulnerable immigrants to advance a political motive."

The lawsuit says a woman, identified as "Perla," and a man, identified as "Emanuel," waited outside shelters in Texas to offer migrants gift certificates to McDonald's and tell them about the transport, "pretending to be good Samaritans offering humanitarian assistance."

Iván Espinoza-Madrigal, the executive director of the lawyer group, said in a statement on Monday that the nonprofit plans to amend its lawsuit to substitute "Perla's" real name as a defendant in the complaint once the group has verified she was involved.

"She will then be formally served with the complaint and required to respond in federal district court," Espinoza-Madrigal said.

Huerta retired from the Army in August — a month before the migrant flights — after two decades in service, US Army spokeswoman Madison Bonzo told Insider on Monday.

Between April 2022 and August 2022, Huerta served as a counterintelligence/human intelligence senior sergeant, and a healthcare specialist in the Army, Bonzo said, adding, that Huerta held the rank of master sergeant at the end of her service.

Huerta was deployed several times, including to Iraq twice and to Afghanistan four times, the spokeswoman said.

She was also deployed to the East African country Djibouti in 2013, the spokesperson said.

The migrants' lawyer Espinoza-Madrigal said "the fact that 'Perla' is apparently a former military operative and spy aligns with the allegations in the complaint – which describe a highly orchestrated plan based on secrecy, deceit, and misrepresentation."

He added, "We look forward to uncovering further evidence as the case proceeds and bringing all of the perpetrators of this scheme to justice."

Huerta could not immediately be reached for comment by Insider and DeSantis' office did not immediately return a request for comment.

Read the original article on Business Insider

Dramatic rescues as boats sink off Greece; at least 21 dead .
KYTHIRA, Greece (AP) — Residents of a Greek island pulled shipwrecked migrants to safety up steep cliffs in dramatic rescues after two boats sank in Greek waters, leaving at least 21 people dead and many still missing. The coast guard in the eastern island of Lesbos said 16 bodies of young African women and one young young man were recovered there after a dinghy carrying about 40 people sank. Ten women were rescued, while 13 other migrants were believed to be missing, coast guard officials said.

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This is interesting!