Florida lawmaker sues DeSantis to block future migrant flights from the border

State Sen. Jason Pizzo, a Miami Democrat, contends that DeSantis illegally misspent taxpayer {dollars} by flying migrants from San Antonio to the Massachusetts island. Lawmakers this previous yr accepted $12 million for a program to move migrants however the state funds specified the cash was to relocate “unauthorized aliens from this state.”

On Wednesday, Pizzo instructed CNN, “If we’re in a position to get this in entrance of a person or a lady in a black gown, how the hell is the state going to contend any of those individuals are from Florida?”

In response to the lawsuit, DeSantis spokeswoman Taryn Fenske instructed CNN Thursday, “Senator Pizzo by no means misses a chance for his quarter-hour of fame and is difficult an motion on an appropriation he voted for.”

DeSantis has vowed to move extra migrants from the border, telling reporters on Friday that the flights to Martha’s Winery had been “only the start.”

The lawsuit was filed within the circuit court docket of the Second Judicial Circuit in Leon County, Florida. Florida Division of Transportation Secretary Jared Perdue, a DeSantis appointee, and the elected Chief Monetary Officer Jimmy Patronis, a Republican, are additionally listed as defendants.

CNN reached out to Perdue and Patronis however didn’t obtain rapid responses.

Patronis spokesman Frank Collins mentioned in a tweet partly: “We’re in receipt of the submitting and we’re at the moment exploring choices for sanction and/or countersuit measures.”
DeSantis final week took credit score for 2 flights that moved about 48 migrants from the southern border to Martha’s Winery in a headline-grabbing stunt that has thrust the nation’s immigration disaster to the entrance step of the rich trip city. DeSantis mentioned the motion was paid for with the $12 million allotted this yr by the legislature and he promised to make use of “each penny.”

Requested repeatedly concerning the justification to maneuver migrants positioned in a metropolis 700 miles from the westernmost fringe of Florida, DeSantis has mentioned he’s attempting to cease the stream of migrants into Florida on the supply. He has mentioned the state has individuals in Texas “profiling ” migrants who’re seemingly headed to the Sunshine State, and so they provided flights to Martha’s Winery as a substitute.

Pizzo, who’s suing DeSantis as a citizen of the state, additionally alleges within the go well with that the state didn’t comply with different necessities to spend the cash. The lawsuit claims that no program to move migrants was ever created by Florida’s Division of Transportation, nor did the division obtain at the very least two quotes to rent an organization to relocate individuals, one other requirement of the legislation.

CNN has requested DeSantis’ workplace and the Florida Division of Transportation for contracts and bid proposals associated to the flights. Nothing has been offered up to now.

Finances information reviewed by CNN present two funds made to Destin, Florida, primarily based aviation firm Vertol Techniques below the migrant relocation program. The preliminary fee of $615,000 was made by the Florida Division of Transportation on September 8, six days earlier than the Martha’s Winery flight. One other fee for $950,000 adopted on September 16.

Biden administration prepares for Abbott and DeSantis to send more migrants to Democratic cities

Along with flights, DeSantis additionally confirmed to Fox host Sean Hannity that migrants had been put up in motels and provided haircuts and different providers earlier than they had been carried to Martha’s Winery.

The planes touched down briefly in Crestview, Florida, a small metropolis within the Panhandle.

Pizzo within the lawsuit alleged that the state additionally violated a brand new legislation championed by DeSantis that bans state companies from contracting with corporations that transport “unauthorized aliens.” aliens,” Pizzo contended that by bringing these people into Florida, the state violated this new legislation.

If the DeSantis administration argues the migrants usually are not “unauthorized aliens,” then it will be as soon as once more in violation of the parameters of the migrant relocation program, Pizzo instructed CNN.

“Have been they transporting unauthorized aliens into the state? As a result of that is a no no,” Pizzo mentioned. “Oh, they are not, effectively then they weren’t eligible to be transported in any respect.”

“If we’re speaking about 48 individuals from someplace in Florida, and flown someplace else, I’d not elevate the problem of feeding them, housing them and giving them haircuts,” he added. “However FDOT, a highway constructing company, is spending cash on meals housing and different providers exterior of Florida on people with no nexus, no connection, no purview to the state. A fifth grader would perceive why this is not allowed.”

The lawsuit requested an emergency case administration convention and listening to and referred to as for “expedited deadlines” to stop future flights.


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