Florida Democrat sues DeSantis for flying migrants to Martha’s Vineyard: ‘He can’t comply with the law’

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A Florida state legislator is suing Governor Ron DeSantis and other state officials for orchestrating the transportation of migrants from Texas to Martha’s Vineyard in Massachusetts.

State senator Jason Pizzo, a Democrat who represents the Miami-Dade area, alleges in a new lawsuit that moving migrants from another state using Florida funds is an illegal use of those funds and against the laws of the United States. Florida. The lawsuit also asks a judge to stop such moves.

“This is very clear and obvious,” Pizzo said during an interview, the Miami Herald reported. “The governor had lawmakers carry and pass bills designed to fit his agenda, which he then signed into law. And even with that fully privileged position, he still can’t comply with the law. He set the rules for it. game and then he can’t follow them.”

Immigrants gather with their belongings outside St. Andrews Episcopal Church, Wednesday, September 14, 2022, in Edgartown, Massachusetts, on Martha’s Vineyard.
(Ray Ewing/Vineyard Gazette via AP))

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The Florida legislature previously approved $12 million in the state’s transportation budget to relocate migrants who had illegally entered Florida. However, in the lawsuit, Pizzo, a lawyer, alleges that DeSantis did not use those funds in the way they were appropriated, because he relocated migrants who are not “unauthorized aliens” and who were not originally in Florida.


The two planes of 48 Venezuelan migrants were flown from San Antonio to the posh Massachusetts island, landing only briefly in Florida.

Taryn Fenske, DeSantis communications director, dismissed the new 15-page lawsuit, saying Pizzo was simply seeking his “15 minutes of fame.”

“Senator Pizzo never misses an opportunity before his 15 minutes of fame and challenges an action for an appropriation he voted for,” Fenske told the outlet.

The lawsuit also names Florida Chief Financial Officer Jimmy Patronis, the Florida Department of Transportation and Jared Perdue, the department’s secretary.

Florida Governor Ron DeSantis responded Tuesday to critics that he would fly migrants to Martha's Vineyard in Massachusetts.

Florida Governor Ron DeSantis responded Tuesday to critics that he would fly migrants to Martha’s Vineyard in Massachusetts.

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In a statement to the newspaper, Patronis noted that Pizzo voted to approve the original $12 million credit bill and said DeSantis’ office was acting accordingly.

Devin Galletta, communications director for the Florida Department of Financial Services, echoed this statement and also said his office was exploring options for a counterparty.


“Senator Pizzo voted with minority leader Lauren Book for the $12 million credit to relocate migrants,” Galletta wrote. “As the law they voted for is being implemented and shedding light on the border crisis, Pizzo and Book have turned to the same old handbook and hired a democratically operating attorney to go after the executive for following the law. We have received the submission and are currently exploring the options for sanctions and/or countermeasures.”

Senator Jason Pizzo at a campaign event.

Senator Jason Pizzo at a campaign event.
(Senator Jason Pizzo/Facebook)

The lawsuit comes after Lawyers for Civil Rights filed a class action lawsuit on behalf of the illegal immigrants who flew into Martha’s Vineyard.

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The lawsuit alleges that DeSantis “designed and executed a premeditated, fraudulent and illegal plan aimed at exploiting this vulnerability for the sole purpose of furthering their own personal, financial and political interests.”

Governor DeSantis spokesman Taryn Fenske described the class action lawsuit as “political theatre.”

“If these activists spent even a fraction of this time and effort at the border, perhaps some responsibility would be placed on the Biden administration’s reckless border policies that entice illegal immigrants to embark on dangerous and often deadly journeys across Central America. and their lives in the hands of cartels and coyotes,” Fenske said.


She added: “The immigrants were homeless, hungry and abandoned – and these activists didn’t care about them then. Florida’s program gave them a fresh start in a refuge and these individuals chose to use charter flights. to Massachusetts.”

Some Democratic officials have also urged the federal government to investigate the transport.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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