NEFAC Joins Call for Release of Documents Detailing Flight of Migrants to Martha’s Vineyard

CONTACT Justin Silverman | 774.244.2365 |


The New England First Amendment Coalition joined several open government advocates today to demand Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis follow his state’s public records law and release information pertaining to the recent flight of Venezuelan migrants to Massachusetts.

The migrants were flown from San Antonio, Texas, and through Florida before landing on Martha’s Vineyard earlier this month. The flight was reportedly organized by Florida’s executive branch and funded with tax dollars. Dozens of requests by news organizations for information under the Florida public records law have gone unfulfilled.

“There are undoubtedly records related to this flight — from planning to execution to post-flight communications,” explained NEFAC, the Radio Television Digital News Association and the Reporters Committee for Freedom of the Press in a Sept. 26 letter drafted by the First Amendment Foundation in Florida. “Many of the requested records should be readily available and easily accessible. No exemptions are likely to apply, and we are unaware of any exemption claimed by the [Executive Office of the Governor].”

The group urged Gov. DeSantis to immediately make records responsive to the Martha’s Vineyard flight publicly available through the EOG website on a rolling basis as records are retrieved.

NEFAC is the region’s leading advocate for the First Amendment and the public’s right to know about government. The coalition regularly writes and joins advocacy letters in cases involving First Amendment freedoms and the public’s right to know about government. All coalition briefs, advocacy letters and statements can be found here.

NEFAC was formed in 2006 to advance and protect the Five Freedoms of the First Amendment, including the principle of the public’s right to know. We’re a broad-based organization of people who believe in the power of an informed democratic society. Our members include lawyers, journalists, historians, academics and private citizens.

Our coalition is funded through contributions made by those who value the First Amendment and who strive to keep government accountable. Please make a donation here.

Leadership Circle donors include the Rhode Island Foundation, Hearst Connecticut Media Group, The Boston Globe, Paul and Ann Sagan, and the Robertson Foundation. Major Supporters include Boston University, the Academy of New England Journalists, the Society of Professional Journalists Foundation, Genie Gannett for the First Amendment Museum, Linda Pizzuti Henry, Connecticut Public and GBH-Boston.