Attorneys Representing More Than 30 Migrants Flown To Massachusetts Urge Criminal Investigations | CNN Politics

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After less than 48 unexpected hours in Martha’s Vineyard, nearly 50 Venezuelan migrants were given a warm sendoff as they embarked on next leg of their journey. Their unannounced arrival was part of a campaign by Texas Gov. Greg Abbott and Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis to send migrants to “sanctuary cities” by surprise. CNN’s Miguel Marquez reports.

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Vice President Kamala Harris claimed in an interview that the US border with Mexico is secure. Rep. Henry Cuellar (D-TX), who represents a district along Texas’ border with Mexico, says that is not true.

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Rep. Zoe Lofgren (D-CA) discusses a Washington Post report that said former President Trump’s lawyers told the National Archives in 2021 that the boxes of documents at Mar-a-Lago contained newspaper clippings.

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FILE - Former President Donald Trump speaks at a rally in Wilkes-Barre, Pa., Sept. 3, 2022. Lawyers for former President Trump say a criminal investigation into the presence of top-secret information has

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Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis is taking credit for flying two planes of migrants to Martha’s Vineyard. CNN’s Chris Cillizza explains how DeSantis’ political stunts may be setting him up for success in GOP politics.

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A source tells CNN that Sen. Lindsey Graham’s proposed national ban on abortions after 15 weeks of pregnancy was intended to arm Republicans with a policy issue they could rally around ahead of the midterm elections. Graham’s current stance is a reversal from his previous position.

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WASHINGTON, DC - JUNE 22: Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-SC) listens as Sen. Ted Cruz (R-TX) speaks at a press conference at the U.S. Capitol to discuss immigration at the southern border on June 22, 2022 in Washington, DC. Cruz spoke alongside Graham and the National Border Patrol Council President Brandon and Rep. Jim Jordan (R-OH) to discuss what they see as a worsening crisis at the U.S.-Mexico border caused U.S. by President Joe Biden's administration's policies. (Photo by Anna Moneymaker/Getty Images)

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Republican midterm attack ads criticizing their Democratic opponents over crime and policing are running around the country. CNN reporter Daniel Dale fact checks three ads from Texas, Ohio, and New Mexico.

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Conservative lawyer George Conway joins CNN’s John Berman to discuss former President Trump’s recent comments on Hugh Hewitt’s radio show, where he says there will be “big problems” if he’s indicted.

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Federal Judge Aileen Cannon selected a special master to review the classified documents found in former President Donald Trump’s Mar-a-Lago home and rejected the Justice Department’s bid to resume its criminal investigation. David Priess, a former CIA officer, discusses the judge’s ruling.

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Ron DeSantis is claiming credit for sending two planes carrying migrants to Martha’s Vineyard. CNN’s Jim Sciutto speaks with representative Bill Keating (D-MA) who says the governor is using migrants for his own political benefit.

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New Hampshire Republican U.S. Senate candidate Don Bolduc smiles during a primary night campaign gathering, Tuesday Sept. 13, 2022, in Hampton, N.H. (AP Photo/Reba Saldanha)

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CNN  — 

Attorneys representing more than 30 of the migrants flown to Massachusetts this week asked the US Attorney for Massachusetts and the state’s attorney general to open criminal investigations into the flights.

Lawyers for Civil Rights, which provides free legal support for communities of color and immigrants, criticized Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis, calling the flights a “political stunt,” in a press release Saturday.

DeSantis sent two planes carrying migrants to Martha’s Vineyard earlier this week, in a move that infuriated Democratic politicians and underscored ongoing efforts by Republican governors to transport migrants to northern liberal enclaves to protest what they say are inadequate federal efforts on southern border security.

Located off the coast of Massachusetts and long known as a posh summer destination for wealthy vacationers, Martha’s Vineyard provided an unusual and unexpected place for the migrants to be sent.

James Hagerty, the Edgartown town administrator, told CNN on Thursday that officials believe all of the migrants originated in Venezuela. A local fire chief said earlier in the day that the migrants included seven families, with four children ranging from 3 to 8 years old.

Community members from the island quickly rallied to help the migrants by donating food and clothing. Additionally, residents and others from different parts of the country raised more than $175,000 after the migrants’ arrival, according to Beth Folcarelli, CEO of the nonprofit Martha’s Vineyard Community Services.

The migrants’ attorneys said that their clients were not aware that they were being taken to Martha’s Vineyard specifically.

They were induced to board the planes with “representations of work assistance and immigration relief in Boston,” the attorneys said in a news release.

DeSantis has pushed back on claims that the migrants did not know where they were going, because he said they had signed a waiver and had been provided with a packet including a map of Martha’s Vineyard adding, “It’s obvious that’s where they were going,” and it was all “voluntary.”

US Attorney for Massachusetts Rachael Rollins told reporters Thursday she would be speaking with members of the Department of Justice about DeSantis’ actions, saying she did not yet have enough information to say whether he broke any laws in sending the migrants to Martha’s Vineyard. She added that their first priority is making sure the people who arrived were treated respectfully.

A spokeswoman for Rollins’ office in Massachusetts told CNN on Saturday they did not have any further comment.

Chloe Gotsis, a spokeswoman for the Massachusetts Attorney General’s Office, told CNN on Saturday that the office is working to “review all information relevant.”

“We are in touch with our federal and state partners, along with attorneys representing the migrants, as we gather facts and evaluate all legal options,” Gotsis said.

CNN previously reported that the migrants were taken to a military base Friday morning to receive shelter and humanitarian support, according to officials.

DeSantis has vowed to continue his efforts in relocating migrants.

“These are just the beginning efforts,” the Florida governor said. “We’ve got an infrastructure in place now. There’s going to be a lot more that’s happening.”

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