A man claims that he was paid to “coordinate” Ron DeSantis’s visits to migrant workers in Texas
A Venezuelan immigrant claimed he received hundreds of dollars in payments to “assist manage” flights as part of Florida Governor Ron DeSantis‘ immigrant airline trip programme.
They man-made his accusation more than a month after DeSantis flew from Texas to Martha’s Vineyard about 50 migrants, largely from Venezuela.
The man, who gave the newspaper his name as Emmanuel, claimed that Perla Huerta, a former member of the U.S. Army who is suspected of having tricked migrants into boarding flights last month, had asked him to hand out her business cards to migrants in Texas.
According to the Miami Herald, Huerta, who worked for the DeSantis official-connected aircraft business that Florida paid over $1.56 million, paid Emmanuel $700 for his services, which included giving haircuts to migrants waiting for flights to Martha’s Vineyard.
The publication reported that the purpose of Emmanuel’s business card distribution was to see whether migrants would be interested in travelling to Illinois and Delaware. This plan, however, was later scrapped after learning of a probe into the DeSantis scheme.
According to the newspaper, Emmanuel “went to Huerta to see if she could assist him out with a paid gig” after claiming he did not have a visa to work in the United States.
According to a Florida state statute, government contractors and subcontractors must register with and use the federal E-Verify system to confirm the work authorization status of all newly employed employees. Huerta’s reported payments to Emmanuel may conflict with this requirement.
Affidavits stating that “the subcontractor does not employ, contract with, or subcontract with an unlawful foreigner” must be provided to contractors by subcontractors before they can enter into a contract with them, according to the legislation.
The Miami Herald cited remarks made by DeSantis in 2018 when he was a candidate for governor, in which he urged for mandating the use of E-Verify by all employers.
DeSantis stated in a speech to politicians that ensuring a legal workforce with E-Verify would be beneficial for the rule of law, safeguard taxpayers, and put upward pressure on the wages of Floridians who labour in blue-collar occupations.
Eventually, the Florida Legislature approved a bill that would become the law requiring public employers—not private—and private contractors to use the system.
DeSantis’ office has been contacted by HuffPost.