Bexar County Sheriff Javier Salazar, a Democrat, told reporters at a Monday press conference that he understood that on Wednesday a Venezuelan migrant received a “bird dog fee” to recruit 50 migrants at a resource center in San Antonio.
The sheriff said he believes laws were not only broken in Bexar County during the transportation of nearly 50 migrants to Martha’s Vineyard, but parallel laws were also broken on the federal side.
A total of 48 migrants were “lured” into a hotel where they were accommodated for two days, according to Salazar.
The migrants were flown to Florida and then later transported to Martha’s Vineyard under “false pretenses”, he said.
The sheriff said they were flown to Martha’s Vineyard for “a photo op and stranded”. He believes the migrants have been “exploited and tricked” into making the journey for political purposes.
The sheriff spoke with an attorney who represents some of the migrants for first-hand accounts of what happened, Salazar told reporters.
The allegations he has heard so far are “disgusting and constitute a violation of human rights”, he said.
Salazar said he believed there was accountability for what happened.
Asked about the investigation, DeSantis spokeswoman Taryn Fenske told CNN, “The immigrants have been more than willing to leave Bexar County after being abandoned, homeless, and ‘left to their own devices. -same”.
“Florida gave them the opportunity to seek greener pastures in a sanctuary jurisdiction that offered them greater resources, as we expected. Unless the MA National Guard had abandoned these people, they received housing, food, clothing and more options to succeed after their unjust incitement to the United States, unlike the 53 immigrants who died in a truck found abandoned in Bexar County in June.”
Salazar told reporters he will work with federal agencies and welcomes help from the White House.
“Absolutely, parts of this are going to have to go to the federal level, and there’s going to have to be some coordination that goes with that,” he said. “So absolutely, I would welcome the White House or anyone else on the federal side to call us and help us with anything they can,” he said.
A White House official said the meeting was planned before Texas Governor Greg Abbott sent two migrant buses to Vice President Kamala Harris’ residence in Washington on Thursday and DeSantis sent two planes carrying migrants to Martha’s Vineyard.
Biden accused Republicans of “playing politics with human beings” and “using them as props” in response to these stunts.
CNN’s Carolyn Sung and Steve Almasy contributed to this report.