Advertising executive Max Lefeld compared Latin American asylum-seekers to “trash” while criticizing Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis for sending migrants to Martha’s Vineyard.
Lefeld, a Venezuelan American who co-founded Casa Venezuela Dallas, a non-profit that helps recent immigrants from Venezuela, was quoted in an NBC News report published Friday.
- “It’s like me taking my trash out and just driving to different areas where I live and just throwing my trash there,” he said in reference to DeSantis sending two planes full of mostly Venezuelan migrants to the wealthy Massachusetts island, whose residents overwhelmingly supported Joe Biden in the 2020 presidential election.
- Other Venezuelan American activists who spoke to NBC News were divided over the plight of migrants, with some noting they are “victims of communism,” but others expressing concern there are former members of the Venezuelan police and paramilitaries in the new arrivals.
- A since-deleted NBC News tweet containing Lefeld’s remarks sparked widespread backlash on Twitter, especially from conservatives.
Lefeld’s comments were “a little bit too honest about what some Democrats feel,” conservative journalist Andy Ngo said in response to NBC News’ deleted tweet.
Massachusetts Gov. Charlie Baker, a Republican, ordered the 55 migrants to a Cape Cod military base over the weekend after the affluent community claimed it did not have the resources or infrastructure to handle the group.