Far-right forums have been violently threatening the migrants Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis flew from Texas to Martha’s Vineyard last week.
After the governor’s publicity stunt to push his anti-immigration policies, the lawyers for the 48 Venezuelan migrants told a judge Wednesday that their clients were facing death threats as a result of the media attention.
The lawyers did not reveal where these death threats were coming from, but new research shared exclusively with VICE News shows that those threats are coming from the same far-right platforms that have recently threatened FBI agents and a judge linked to the search of former President Donald Trump’s Mar-a-Lago home.
Members of the pro-Trump message board TheDonald, a QAnon-focused forum known as the Great Awakening, and users of 4chan’s hate-filled /pol/ board, all made explicit and violent threats against the migrants within hours of DeSantis sending the planes to Martha’s Vineyard on Sept. 14, according to research from Advance Democracy, a nonpartisan and nonprofit organization that conducts public-interest investigations.
“Instead of sending migrants to blue states, I’d propose we drive them out to a barren field, give them some shovels, and tell them to start digging,” one anonymous poster known as henri_derelicte wrote on TheDonald, under a post about the relocation of migrants to Martha’s Vineyard: “Once they’ve dug a deep enough trench, armed men come up and shoot them. The bodies are dissolved and burned, and the trench is then covered up. Rinse and repeat.”
Some users made multiple threats on the same forum.
“You fucking idiots you just let more illegals permanently into our country. Just kill them at this point, that would actually deter them,” a user known as CoolasCucumber wrote on Sept.15 on TheDonald. An hour later the same user wrote: “Just kill the illegals. Especially the repeat offenders.”
A day later, responding to a post about calls for a Department of Justice investigation into the flights, CoolasCucumber wrote: “Let’s cut the foreplay and just go to war.”
On 4chan, the discussion featured some members of the infamous “politically incorrect” /pol/ board discussing “shooting them at the fucking border.” When one anonymous user asked “who is going to shoot them…a private citizen can’t commit extrajudicial killings,” another user responded by volunteering their services: “Already experienced at putting 855 [bullets] through subhuman skulls.”
The threats on 4chan also expanded to targeting those trying to help the migrants. “Shoot the NGO dudes bussing them too. Right in their fucking heads,” one user wrote.
Other users were critical of DeSantis’s stunt, calling it “counterproductive” and suggesting that instead the Texas Rangers should “unceremoniously shoot every immigrant they find in the back of the head, dump them back over the border, and call it a day.”
Another 4chan user responded by writing: “Kill them all. Including the women and children. Get out. You shouldn’t have come here.”
One /pol/ member suggested that the migrant issue would lead to civil war and outlined their plan to target local Democrats.
“We will see a civil [war] because the left will never back down on its plan to destroy America,” they wrote. “Just wake me when the shooting starts. I already have a list of every Democrat for miles and enough rope for them and their family.”
Some lawmakers and local officials have blasted the DeSantis administration for allegedly making false promises to the migrants who claim they were offered “eight months cash assistance,” “food,” “housing,” and “job placements,” according to a brochure given to the migrants which was published by the newsletter Popular Information on Monday.
But the threats targeting migrants mirror those being made against officials who have spoken out about DeSantis’ stunt: Massachusetts State Rep. Dylan Fernandes, who called DeSantis’ action “fucking depraved” has faced a flood of death threats. “You should see my inbox right now and how ugly it is,” Fernandes told Greater Boston this week, adding that law enforcement had been informed of the threats. Fellow State Sen. Julian Cyr said that he too has received death threats.
Attorneys from the Lawyers for Civil Rights group, who are representing the migrants, have also faced threats as a result of filing the lawsuit which alleges that DeSantis and other state officials concocted a “scheme to defraud vulnerable immigrants to advance a political motive.”
In Texas, where the flight originated, a sheriff who announced on Monday that he was opening an investigation into the flights is also facing threats.
The Bexar County Sheriff’s office told VICE News in an email that “there have been numerous threats, an influx of calls to our dispatch and administrative offices, along with hateful emails received” since the investigation was announced.
The post Far-Right Sites Exploded With Violent Threats Against Migrants After Flight Stunt appeared first on VICE.