A Florida senator has filed a new lawsuit against Republican Gov. Ron DeSantis for orchestrating the transportation of dozens of migrants from Texas to Martha’s Vineyard.
State Senator Jason Pizzo, a Democrat representing the Miami area, accuses DeSantis of violating budget laws by using local funds to relocate migrants from another state, according to the lawsuit filed late Thursday.
Pizzo’s lawsuit, which seeks no damages, is asking a judge to bar DeSantis from using state funds on future migrant flights.
The state legislature earlier this year passed a bipartisan budget that earmarked $12 million for a program to support the “transportation of unauthorized aliens out of this state, consistent with federal law.”
DeSantis, who is running for a second term in Florida and is likely a 2024 GOP presidential hopeful, used that funding when he flew nearly 50 Venezuelan migrants from Texas to Martha’s Vineyard earlier this month.
Pizzo, who voted for the budget, alleges in his lawsuit that DeSantis manipulates the language because the migrants have never been to Florida — except when their planes touched down briefly in the state before flying to the island off the Massachusetts coast.
The Democratic lawmaker also argues that the migrants are not “illegal aliens” because they are seeking asylum and currently have legal status in the US.
“That’s very clear and straightforward,” Pizzo told the Miami Herald.
“The governor had legislators pass bills tailored to his agenda, which he subsequently signed. And even with this absolutely privileged position, he still cannot abide by the law. He has set the rules of the game and then he cannot follow them.”
A DeSantis spokeswoman quickly dismissed the lawsuit, saying, “Senator Pizzo never misses an opportunity for his 15 minutes of fame and is filing a lawsuit over an appropriation he voted for.”
Pizzo’s lawsuit is the second filed against DeSantis this week after he was hit by a class action lawsuit over an alleged “fraudulent and discriminatory scheme” to transport the migrants.
The class action lawsuit alleges the migrants were tricked into planes in Texas with job promises and gift cards — and were fully briefed on their final destination.
In response, a defiant DeSantis attacked the Biden administration for treating migrants “terribly” and insisted that cities of refuge — which includes New York — must bear “the brunt” of the White House’s open borders policy .
“It was voluntary, offering transportation to protected areas because we believe first of all the border should be secured and we want Biden to reintroduce policies like ‘stay in Mexico’ and make sure people aren’t overwhelming.
“But that aside if you believe in open borders and these are havens that should bear the brunt of open borders. So that’s what we do.”
https://nypost.com/2022/09/23/florida-senator-sues-ron-desantis-over-migrant-flights/ Florida Senator is suing Ron DeSantis over migrant flights