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Gov. DeSantis along with Perla Huerta, recruited migrants to go on the plane headed to Martha's Vineyard.
Gov. DeSantis along with Perla Huerta, recruited migrants to go on the plane headed to Martha's Vineyard. Photo: John Tlumacki/The Boston Globe via Getty Images

LULAC ups bounty on Perla Huerta to $10,000

The New York Times identified Huerta as the one responsible for the recruitment of migrants to be flown to Martha’s Vineyard in cahoots with Ron DeSantis.

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Earlier this week, A New York Times report revealed that Florida Governor Ron DeSantis did not act alone in his charter of a flight of migrants from Texas to Martha’s Vineyard. The Times identified Perla Huerta, a 20-year Army veteran who is a former combat medic and counterintelligence agent, as another culprit responsible for the recruitment of migrants on the ground in San Antonio. 

According to the report, Huerta, along with some helpers, lured migrants onto the plane with false promises of food, shelter, cash assistance, and other help once they were to arrive.

DeSantis chartered the plane on taxpayer money for over 50 Venezuelan migrants last month. 

It’s in the same vein as Texas Governor Greg Abbott, and is a part of the governor’s new fiscal state budget entitled, ‘The Freedom First budget,’ which set aside over $12 million for the transportation of migrants to Democratic cities in the North.

Huerta, a Tampa resident, has been unable to be reached or located in the time since the release of The Times piece. As a result, one of the oldest Latino advocacy organizations, The League of United Latin American Citizens, or LULAC, has put a bounty on Huerta’s head. 

The organization announced on Wednesday, Oct. 5, in a statement that it would be doubling up its offer to $10,000 for any information that would lead them to Huerta, as they called her a “political predator.” Federal Authorities have not as of yet identified Huerta as a suspect or person of interest in any criminal investigation. 

LULAC is pushing for legal, and criminal action as they look to get Huerta to answer questions under oath. 

The longtime Latino advocacy organization originally looked to file a complaint with the Justice Department to determine whether Huerta and DeSantis’ actions constituted crimes under immigration code, said LULAC President Domingo Garcia.

“She [Huerta] is a migrant political predator, and the prime suspect wanted in the migrant bounty ring linked to the alleged kidnapping-by-deception of dozens of men, women, and children on Sept. 12-14, 2022, in San Antonio, Texas, and paid for by Florida taxpayer dollars,” said Garcia in a released statement. “Americans have the right to know why Florida Governor Ron DeSantis used a spy to carry out his sordid and cruel scheme to use human beings as political piñatas.” 

According to reports, at least two planes departed from San Antonio last month in which they were initially told they would be flying to Boston where shelter and jobs awaited them. Instead, migrants arrived on the island of Martha’s Vineyard, south of Cape Cod, to the surprise of officials. 

Some of the migrants flown to Martha’s Vineyard in the time since have filed a lawsuit against DeSantis, Florida Secretary of Transportation Jared W. Perdue and five other unnamed persons as defendants, one of which is Huerta. In addition to this, the Bexar County Sheriff’s Department announced last month that they had opened a criminal investigation into the matter as well. 

“They fled to the United States in a desperate attempt to protect themselves and their families from gang, police, and state-sponsored violence and the oppression of political dissent. To put it simply, Plaintiffs, and the class of similarly situated individuals they seek to represent, are vulnerable in a way and to an extent that almost defies verbal description. They are as deserving of dignity and empathy as anyone among us,” the lawsuit reads. 

As of now, the $10,000 bounty remains as the search for Huerta continues.

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