Florida Republican Gov. Ron DeSantis caused a stir last year when he flew illegal migrants to the wealthy and overwhelmingly Democratic enclave of Martha’s Vineyard.
In addition to drawing criticism from leftists, the move also resulted in a lawsuit filed by Democratic state Sen. Jason Pizzo. However, a judge just dismissed the case.
Plaintiff argued that funds were improperly spent
According to Fox News, Pizzo claimed in his suit that the governor improperly used state funds when he chartered a pair of planes for the migrants.
“This is very clear and straightforward,” the network quoted Pizzo as saying in September. “The governor had legislators carry and pass bills that were designed to suit his agenda and that he subsequently signed into law.”
“And even with that completely privileged position, he still can’t comply with the law. He set the rules for the game and then he can’t follow them,” Pizzo continued.
However, Orlando’s Fox 35 revealed on Thursday that lawyers for the DeSantis administration successfully argued the issue was moot.
A new bill provides for the relocation of migrants
They pointed to a bill passed last month that allows for efforts to transport illegal migrants to so-called sanctuary jurisdictions.
“It eliminated the challenged appropriation, which allegedly amended substantive law, thereby ensuring it cannot be used to transfer unauthorized aliens,” the attorney’s motion to dismiss read.
Leon County Circuit Judge John Cooper agreed with that reasoning, and he moved to formally dismiss the suit on Wednesday.
Pizzo’s lawsuit is not the only legal challenge that DeSantis has faced over his migrant policy, as Fox News reported in December that the left-wing Southern Poverty Law Center’s Justice Project filed suit as well, this time in federal court.
Southern Poverty Law Center says Florida created “its own immigration system”
“Florida’s attempts to create its own immigration system came to a head on September 14, 2022, when individuals acting at the direction of Defendants sowed chaos and confusion by fraudulently inducing approximately 50 Venezuelan and Peruvian migrants, all of whom had been processed into the U.S. by immigration authorities, into taking a flight from Texas to Massachusetts, falsely promising them aid, jobs, and more,” the brief alleged, adding, “There was no aid.”
Fox News noted that Paul R. Chavez serves as senior supervising attorney for the SPLC’s Immigrant Justice Project, and he slammed the governor in a statement.
“The scheme by Gov. DeSantis and the state of Florida to use taxpayer funds for the ‘relocation’ of ‘unauthorized aliens’ is a blatant and unlawful attempt to harass immigrants at the state level,” Chavez was quoted as saying.
“Florida’s relocation program constitutes a discriminatory attack on immigrant communities, and Gov. DeSantis’ unconstitutional actions must be stopped,” the lawyer insisted.