(NewsNation) — About 20 migrants are stranded in San Antonio, Texas, after a flight to Delaware they were reportedly offered never showed up.
The Miami Herald reported that a woman had approached the group of Venezuelan asylum-seekers outside San Antonio’s migrant resource center and recruited them to join a “secret operation” transporting asylum seekers out of Texas. The woman offered flights to places she said she could not disclose until the last minute, the Herald said, but promised the destination had more resources and work.
In the meantime, the asylum-seekers were put up in motels about 10 miles from a resource center in San Antonio, where migrants can get aid and shelter for three days, according to the Miami Herald.
Five days later, the woman went to the motel and told the migrants they were being sent to Delaware the next day, which was Tuesday, Sept. 20.
But there would be no flight. Migrants were told the next morning it had been canceled, the Miami Herald said.
“I want to cry because I feel hopeless. I have nothing. How do I work? How do I survive?” Deiker José, a 19-year-old Venezuelan, told the newspaper. He has an asylum hearing in Miami next month — but has no way of getting there now.
This comes a week after contractors working for Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis organized two charter flights of migrants from Texas to Martha’s Vineyard as part of a taxpayer-funded program, the Miami Herald said.
Flight records show the same plane that carried migrants to Martha’s Vineyard was also chartered to Delaware, President Joe Biden’s vacation home. That’s the plane that never arrived.
The governor, according to the Miami Herald, has said he’s recruiting migrants in Texas for the flights because it’s easier to find them at the border than spread out in his own state.
DeSantis hasn’t commented on what happened with the Delaware flight, but a spokesperson for his campaign tweeted that speculation about the Delaware-bound plane is disinformation.
When it comes to sending migrants to Martha’s Vineyard, DeSantis says this is part of the state’s relocation program to send migrants to “sanctuary destinations.” Critics have called it a cruel political stunt, and even said it is human trafficking. Bexar County Sheriff Javier Salazar launched a criminal investigation into DeSantis flying the migrants to Martha’s Vineyard, The Hill wrote.
Three migrants who did go to Martha’s Vineyard last week are now suing DeSantis and the state of Florida, saying they were misled.
In the lawsuit, the plaintiffs say they were given McDonald’s gift cards and promised jobs, housing and other assistance.
DeSantis has maintained that the migrants were not tricked, and they went on the flight voluntarily.