Updated, September 20, 2022:

Human Rights and civil rights advocates are calling for a criminal investigation into Florida governor Ron De Santis' "political stunt" in sending busloads or planeloads of immigrants from Florida - and Texas to more liberal places such as New York, Massachusetts and Washington D.C. Immigration lawyers in Martha's Vineyard, Massachusetts are claiming that luring asylum-seekers to make the trip under the false promise that they would receive work permission or jobs in Massachusetts may amount to kidnapping or unlawful detention under applicable statues.

One lawyer was quoted as saying:

"This is a human rights violation, this is a constitutional violation, and we will hold the states and perpetrators accountable to he fullest extent of the law. This will not go unanswered."


Jeff Weaver, a political advisor to Senator Bernie Sanders, also argues in The Guardian that in arranging for immigrants to be transported from Texas to Massachusetts, De Santis may have violated a Texas criminal statute prohibiting unlawful restraint.


De Santis is coming under widespread criticism in general for his "political stunt" in bussing or flying asylum seekers and other mainly Latin American immigrants to N ew York City and Martha's Vineyard. Massachusetts, an affluent, upper-class area. Apparently, the purpose of this travesty is to "show" that Americans in ostensibly liberal, pro-immigrant, Democratic-controlled states allegedly do not welcome immigrants any more than do Republican states.

However, contrary to De Santis' expectations, both New York and Martha's Vineyard have acted quickly to help the immigrants, many of whom where apparently misled into boarding the buses or planes by his false promises. But the implications of De Santis' (and also GOP Texas governor Greg Abbott's) rounding up immigrants as if they were cattle and sending them to other states go beyond just being a publicity "stunt". This action has in fact created a human rights crisis which should be of concern to all Americans.

We are now hearing a great deal from right-wing politicians and media about the so-called "Border Crisis" consisting of mainly Central American and Caribbean migrants (as well as some Ukrainians and Russians) seeking safety in the US from dictatorship, gang violence, persecution and lack of opportunity in their home countries - just as their mainly European immigrant predecessors did in an earlier era in order to escape from Czarist, fascist and communist repression and other types of discrimination in Europe.

But the real immigration crisis in America is not the fact that people are coming to America to seek freedom, opportunity and a better life, as immigrants have done throughout our history, but that De Santis and other right-wing GOP politicians - including a recent former US president by the name of Donald Trump, who still refuses to accept the will of the American voters who turned him out of office in 2020 - are denying the very humanity of immigrants itself. This is the real message coming from De Santis, Abbott and other Republican politicians who support their immigrant transport "stunts".

Roger Algase
Attorney at Law
Harvard Law School LL.B
Harvard College A.B.