Ron DeSantis sued to prevent further migrant flights

DeSantis’s office dismisses the lawsuit as political posturing

Biden taunts DeSantis over reported migrant flight to Delaware

A Florida state lawmaker filed a lawsuit to block Florida Governor Ron DeSantis from flying more migrants from the US-Mexico border, arguing it violated state law.

Democratic state Senator Jason Pizzo filed the lawsuit in Second Judicial Circuit in Leon County, Florida and argued that the Florida governor’s transfer of migrants from Texas to Martha’s Vineyard, Massachusetts violated state law. Mr Pizzo also included Florida Transportation Secretary Jared Perdue and Chief Financial Officer Jimmy Patronis as defendants, CNN reported.

Florida’s legislature approved $12m for a programme to transport migrants, but it specifically said that the money was meant to move “unauthorized aliens from this state”. Mr Pizzo’s lawsuit said the Department of Transportation never created a programme to transport migrants and the department did not receive at least two quotes to hire a company to transfer migrants, which the law required.

Mr DeSantis – along with other Republican governors such as Greg Abbott of Texas and Doug Ducey of Arizona – have taken to moving migrants to Democratic cities and states as a means of criticising Democratic policies that they see as lax on immigration.

The Florida governor, who is considered a potential candidate for president in 2024, said that he has staffers “profiling” people who look like they might come to Florida and said he plans to spend “every penny” that the state legislature allocated. Budget records show that the migrant location programme made two payments to Vertol Systems, which is based in Destin, Florida.

Mr Pizzo argued that by bringing the migrants to Florida before Martha’s Vineyard, Mr DeSantis violated state law.

“Were they transporting unauthorized aliens into the state? Because that’s a no no,” he said. “Oh, they’re not, well then they were not eligible to be transported at all.”

Mr DeSantis’s spokesman Taryn Fenske criticised the lawsuit.

“Senator Pizzo never misses an opportunity for his 15 minutes of fame and is challenging an action on an appropriation he voted for,” Ms Fenske told CNN.

Register for free to continue reading

Registration is a free and easy way to support our truly independent journalism

By registering, you will also enjoy limited access to Premium articles, exclusive newsletters, commenting, and virtual events with our leading journalists

Already have an account? sign in

By clicking ‘Register’ you confirm that your data has been entered correctly and you have read and agree to our Terms of use, Cookie policy and Privacy notice.

This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the Google Privacy policy and Terms of service apply.

Register for free to continue reading

Registration is a free and easy way to support our truly independent journalism

By registering, you will also enjoy limited access to Premium articles, exclusive newsletters, commenting, and virtual events with our leading journalists

Already have an account? sign in

By clicking ‘Register’ you confirm that your data has been entered correctly and you have read and agree to our Terms of use, Cookie policy and Privacy notice.

This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the Google Privacy policy and Terms of service apply.

Join our new commenting forum

Join thought-provoking conversations, follow other Independent readers and see their replies

Comments

Thank you for registering

Please refresh the page or navigate to another page on the site to be automatically logged inPlease refresh your browser to be logged in