San Antonio native accused of luring migrants onto Martha's Vineyard flights added to lawsuit

Along with Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis, the defendants in the suit now include Perla Huerta, 49, who grew up in San Antonio.

Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis, who initially took credit for the flights to Martha's Vineyard, is also named as a defendant in the legal case. - Gage Skidmore / Wikimedia Commons
Gage Skidmore / Wikimedia Commons
Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis, who initially took credit for the flights to Martha's Vineyard, is also named as a defendant in the legal case.
A civil rights group has added the San Antonio native who allegedly recruited migrants to board flights to Martha's Vineyard to a lawsuit it filed over the stunt orchestrated by Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis, the Express-News reports.

The amended lawsuit, filed by Boston-based Lawyers for Civil Rights, now includes former Army counterintelligence agent and Alamo City native Perla Huerta, 49, according to the newspaper.

The suit accuses Huerta of recruiting asylum seekers from San Antonio’s Migrant Resource Center for the flights with the help of other operatives working with the DeSantis administration. Those operatives allegedly  include DeSantis Chief of Staff James Uthmeier and Florida Public Safety Czar Larry Keefe. The petition also names James Montgomerie, the president of Vertol Systems, the company contracted by the Florida state government to charter the flights, according to the daily.

DeSantis and the state of Florida are also named as defendants.

The migrants were manipulated into boarding the planes that stranded them Massachusetts, according to allegations in the suit highlighted by the Express-News. That made it nearly impossible for them to attend their immigration proceedings or comply with the conditions of their release, Lawyers for Civil Rights argues.

The suit requests that a judge prevent future migrants flights organized by DeSantis operatives and is seeking unspecified compensatory and punitive damages, according to media reports.

Huerta grew-up in San Antonio, graduated from here and still has family in the area, the Express-News reports.

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Michael Karlis

Michael Karlis is a Staff Writer at the San Antonio Current. He is a graduate of American University in Washington, D.C., whose work has been featured in Salon, Alternet, Creative Loafing Tampa Bay, Orlando Weekly, NewsBreak, 420 Magazine and Mexico Travel Today. He reports primarily on breaking news, politics...

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