Saturday, September 17, 2022

Migrants detail ruse as lawyers, advocates explore possible criminal violations

“What happened to our clients is akin to human trafficking, false imprisonment, or kidnapping,” said Oren Sellstrom, litigation director for Lawyers for Civil Rights, a Boston-based organization whose attorneys have spoken with many of the migrants. “Those are all the types of crimes that federal and state law-enforcement authorities must investigate.”

According to Sellstrom, the undocumented migrants consistently report they were induced to board the planes in San Antonio with false promises of work in Boston, educational opportunities, and help with immigration paperwork. They initially believed they were heading to Boston, he said, and were told only in midflight that their destination would be the Vineyard, an island that many of them had never heard of.

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