Two additional officials in Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis’s (R) administration have been added to a class-action lawsuit filed on behalf of migrants flown to Martha’s Vineyard in mid-September.
DeSantis’s chief of staff, James Uthmeier, and public safety czar, Larry Keefe, were both added to the lawsuit in an amended complaint filed on Tuesday.
The lawsuit accused Uthmeier and Keefe of working with the Florida governor to develop the “scheme” to send migrants to cities in the Northeast and coordinating the recruitment of the nearly 50 migrants in San Antonio, Texas, that would eventually be transported to Martha’s Vineyard, Mass.
The amended complaint also added a woman named Perla Huerta, who the lawsuit accused of being the “lead recruiter,” as well as Vertol Systems Company Inc. and its CEO, James Montgomerie.
DeSantis was named in the initial lawsuit, alongside Florida Transportation Secretary Jared Perdue.
“The object of this scheme was not to help immigrants find a better life in northern cities but to use political fervor over immigration to boost Defendant DeSantis’s national profile,” the lawsuit claimed.
DeSantis’s foray into busing migrants from the border followed similar efforts by other Republican governors in southern border states.
Texas Gov. Greg Abbott and Arizona Gov. Doug Ducey sent several thousand migrants to Democrat-led cities, including Washington, D.C., New York City and Chicago, in protest of President Biden’s border policies.