A Floridastate legislature filed a lawsuit to block Florida Governor Ron DeSantis from flying more migrants from the US-Mexico border, arguing it violated state law, CNNreported.
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.
Florida’s legislature approved $12m for a program 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 program 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 in 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 people “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 program 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.