Enter your email to read this article
Read news on any topic, in one place, from publishers like The Economist, FT, Bloomberg and more.

Ron DeSantis sued to prevent further migrant flights

Getty Images

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.

Related Stories
Are Ron DeSantis' Migrant Flights Legal?
Critics of the Martha’s Vineyard flights are raising a bevy of questions about the finances and alleged deception behind the…
From analysis to the latest developments in health, read the most diverse news in one place.
Miami state Sen. Pizzo sues DeSantis, others over migrant flights to Martha’s Vineyard
MIAMI — A new lawsuit has been brought against Gov. Ron DeSantis and other state officials over Florida’s program to…
Ron DeSantis chartered migrant flights from GOP donor, report finds
An aviation company hired by the administration donated thousands of dollars to Republican causes, including the governor’s campaign and a…
Aviation company used for migrant flights contributed to DeSantis allies
Vertol Systems Inc also has connections to a Florida official in charge of its current immigration policy
Company hired to arrange Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis’ migrant flights is tied to high-level state official
TALLAHASSEE, Fla. — When Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis’ administration needed a company it could trust to carry out a controversial…
One place to find news on any topic, from hundreds of sites.
Jared Kushner slams ‘very troubling’ flights of migrants launched by Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis
Jared Kushner Thursday blasted as “very troubling” Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis’ policy of flying asylum-seekers from Texas to liberal enclaves…