The Hill reports on September 20 that immigrants who were flown from Texas to Martha's Vineyard, Massachusetts by Florida governor Ron De Santis have filed a class action lawsuit against him. The lawsuit alleges that they were,, in effect, deprived of their Human Rights through false promises that they would receive work permits and/or jobs in Boston, but were instead "dumped" in the affluent resort island of Martha's Vineyard without any notice or warning. as a politically motivated "stunt".

The lawsuit makes the following statement about governor De Santis' treatment of these mainly Venezuelan immigrants:

"Defendants manipulated them, stripped them of their dignity, deprived them of their liberty, bodily autonomy, due process and equal protection under law, and impermissibly interfered with the Federal Government's exclusive control over immigration in furtherance of an unlawful goal and a personal political agenda."

This open Human Rights violation and denial of fundamental humanity by Florida governor De Santis (and similar conduct by Texas governor Abbott) should be of concern beyond the immigrant communities. History shows us that when a persecuted minority group in any country loses its basic rights and is treated by the authorities as being less than fully human, it is not long before the majority citizens of that country lose their Human Rights as well.

This holds true whether one is talking about persecution of the Jews in 1930's Germany, or the Rohingya in Burma (Myanmar) and Uighurs in China today, not to mention the current anti-immigrant dictatorship in Hungary - which is now so popular with right wing extremist GOP politicians in an increasingly authoritarian America.

This comment will be updated as necessary depending on developments in the class action lawsuit against De Santis.

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