Florida lawmaker sues DeSantis to dam future migrant flights from the border - CNN

CNN  — 

A Democratic lawmaker in Florida filed a lawsuit Thursday night asking a court to block Republican Gov. Ron DeSantis from transporting more migrants from the southern border, arguing closing week's flights to Martha's vineyard violated state law.

State Sen. Jason Pizzo, a Miami Democrat, contends that DeSantis illegally misspent taxpayer greenbacks through flying migrants from San Antonio to the Massachusetts island. Lawmakers this past 12 months accepted $12 million for a application to transport migrants however the state price range particular the cash became to relocate "unauthorized aliens from this state."

On Wednesday, Pizzo informed CNN, "If we're in a position to get this in entrance of a person or a girl in a black robe, how the hell is the state going to contend any of these people are from Florida?"

according to the lawsuit, DeSantis spokeswoman Taryn Fenske advised CNN Thursday, "Senator Pizzo on no account misses an opportunity for his quarter-hour of fame and is challenging an action on an appropriation he voted for."

DeSantis has vowed to transport more migrants from the border, telling newshounds on Friday that the flights to Martha's vineyard had been "simply the starting."

The lawsuit become filed within the circuit court of the 2d Judicial Circuit in Leon County, Florida. Florida branch of Transportation Secretary Jared Perdue, a DeSantis appointee, and the elected Chief fiscal Officer Jimmy Patronis, a Republican, are also listed as defendants.

CNN reached out to Perdue and Patronis but did not receive instant responses.

Patronis spokesman Frank Collins referred to in a tweet partly: "we're in receipt of the submitting and we are at present exploring alternate options for sanction and/or countersuit measures."

DeSantis closing week took credit for 2 flights that moved about 48 migrants from the southern border to Martha's vineyard in a headline-grabbing stunt that has thrust the country's immigration disaster to the front step of the wealthy vacation city. DeSantis said the motion changed into paid for with the $12 million allocated this yr by means of the legislature and he promised to use "every penny."

requested repeatedly concerning the justification to circulation migrants observed in a city seven hundred miles from the westernmost edge of Florida, DeSantis has spoke of he's making an attempt to cease the move of migrants into Florida on the source. He has observed the state has individuals in Texas "profiling" migrants who are possible headed to the Sunshine State, and that they provided flights to Martha's vineyard in its place.

Pizzo, who is suing DeSantis as a citizen of the state, additionally alleges within the suit that the state did not follow different necessities to spend the funds. The lawsuit claims that no application to move migrants changed into ever created through Florida's branch of Transportation, nor did the branch get hold of at least two prices to appoint an organization to relocate people, one other requirement of the law.

CNN has requested DeSantis' workplace and the Florida department of Transportation for contracts and bid proposals regarding the flights. Nothing has been provided thus far.

price range statistics reviewed with the aid of CNN demonstrate two payments made to Destin, Florida, primarily based aviation business Vertol programs under the migrant relocation software. The preliminary price of $615,000 turned into made by using the Florida branch of Transportation on September eight, six days earlier than the Martha's winery flight. yet another fee for $950,000 followed on September 16.

besides flights, DeSantis also established to Fox host Sean Hannity that migrants were put up in inns and provided haircuts and other services earlier than they were carried to Martha's winery.

The planes touched down in brief in Crestview, Florida, a small city in the Panhandle.

Pizzo in the lawsuit alleged that the state also violated a brand new legislation championed via DeSantis that bans state agencies from contracting with agencies that transport "unauthorized aliens." while there is a dispute as as to whether the individuals picked up on the border constitute as "unauthorized aliens," Pizzo contended that through bringing these individuals into Florida, the state violated this new law.

If the DeSantis administration argues the migrants aren't "unauthorized aliens," then it might be once once more in violation of the parameters of the migrant relocation application, Pizzo advised CNN.

"were they transporting unauthorized aliens into the state? as a result of that's a no no," Pizzo referred to. "Oh, they're no longer, smartly then they were no longer eligible to be transported at all."

"If we're speakme about 48 individuals from someplace in Florida, and flown elsewhere, i'd not elevate the subject of feeding them, housing them and giving them haircuts," he introduced. "but FDOT, a road constructing company, is spending cash on food housing and other services outdoor of Florida on people and not using a nexus, no connection, no purview to the state. A fifth grader would be mindful why this isn't allowed."

The lawsuit requested an emergency case management conference and listening to and known as for "expedited time limits" to steer clear of future flights.

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