Woman who allegedly helped arrange Martha’s Vineyard migrant flights

The woman who allegedly helped Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis arrange migrant flights to Martha’s Vineyard has been reportedly identified as Perla Huerta, a former US Army combat medic and counterintelligence operative.

DeSantis sent the asylum seekers into the swanky community to show solidarity with Texas Gov. Greg Abbott’s campaign to bus migrants to Washington, D.C., New York City and Chicago to pressure Democrats to tighten border policies.

A migrant, who identified himself only as Luis, previously said he and his family were approached outside a San Antonio shelter by a woman named Perla, who offered them a flight to Massachusetts, assistance for 90 days, work permit help and English classes offered.

The woman has now been identified as Perla Huerta, who served on deployments in Afghanistan and Iraq and was discharged last month after two decades in the US Army, the New York Times reported, citing her military records.

Migrants arrive in Martha's Vineyard
The woman who allegedly helped organize migrant flights to Martha’s Vineyard has been identified as Perla Huerta by the New York Times and CNN.
via REUTERS

A person briefed on the investigation by the San Antonio Sheriff’s Office confirmed their identity to the newspaper.

Several of the migrants on Martha’s Vineyard photographed Huerta – who lives in the Tampa area – while being recruited in San Antonio, Rachel Self, an attorney representing the migrants, told The Times.

A friend of Huerta’s also confirmed to CNN that the woman featured in a photograph provided to the network by a migrant is Huerta.

Migrants arrive in Martha's Vineyard
Huerta is reportedly a former US Army medic and counterintelligence agent.
Getty Images

The two news outlets said they could not reach Huerta.

A man who said he worked with Huerta told the Times he first met her on September 10 outside the Migrant Resource Center in San Antonio, where she asked him to help her recruit other migrants.

He said she never mentioned working for the Sunshine State.

Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis
DeSantis sent the migrants to Martha’s Vineyard to show solidarity with Texas Gov. Greg Abbott’s campaign to bus migrants to Democratic safe haven cities.
Shutterstock

“If I had known that, I wouldn’t have gotten involved,” the man told the newspaper, adding that all he was told was that Huerta “wanted to help people go north.”

The woman provided the migrants with free meals at McDonald’s and lodging at a La Quinta Inn before flying to Massachusetts, according to The Times.

The asylum-seekers were reportedly given a folder with a map of the US and another in the shape of Martha’s Vineyard, as well as a leaflet titled “Refugee Migrant Benefits” in English and Spanish, the newspaper said.

Migrants arrive in Martha's Vineyard
A leaflet given to migrants, reviewed by The Times, promised “up to eight months of cash assistance” for “income-eligible” refugees in Massachusetts.
Boston Globe via Getty Images

The pamphlet, reviewed by The Times, promised “up to eight months of cash assistance” for “income-eligible” refugees in Massachusetts.

“We were tricked in Panama, Costa Rica, Nicaragua, Mexico — and then in the United States,” Carlos Guanaguanay, 25, who was approached by the woman in San Antonio, told the newspaper.

The migrants, who were recruited in San Antonio, landed first in Crestview, Fla., and then in South Carolina before reaching Martha’s Vineyard on Sept. 14, the outlet said.

An airline called Vertol Systems received $615,000 on Sept. 8 and $950,000 less than two weeks later for the flights to Martha’s Vineyard, The Times reported, citing Florida state records.

State officials have only confirmed the first flights and have not addressed plans for others, the outlet said.

Vertol owner James Montgomerie did not respond to messages from the newspaper asking for comment.

https://nypost.com/2022/10/03/woman-who-allegedly-helped-arrange-marthas-vineyard-migrant-flights-idd/ Woman who allegedly helped arrange Martha’s Vineyard migrant flights

JACLYN DIAZ

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