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Florida Democrat Sues DeSantis for Bringing Migrants to Martha’s Vineyard: ‘He Can’t Follow the Law’

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

State Sen. Jason Pizzo, a Democrat representing the Miami-Dade area, claims in a new lawsuit that relocating immigrants from another state using Florida funds is an illegitimate use of those funds and violates Florida law. The lawsuit also asks a judge to stop such relocations.

“This is very clear and direct,” Pizzo said during an interview, the Miami Herald reported. “The governor had legislators bring and pass bills that were designed to fit his agenda and that he subsequently signed into law. And even with that completely privileged position, he still can’t abide by the law. He set the rules for the game and so he can’t follow them.”

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

The Florida legislature previously approved $12 million in the state’s transportation budget to relocate immigrants who had entered Florida illegally. However, in the lawsuit, Pizzo, an attorney, argues that DeSantis is not using those funds the way they were allocated because he moved immigrants who are not “unauthorized aliens” and were not originally in Florida.


The two planes of 48 Venezuelan immigrants flew from San Antonio to the luxurious island of Massachusetts and only briefly landed in Florida.

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

“Senator Pizzo never misses an opportunity for his 15 minutes of fame and he is challenging an action on 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 of him transporting immigrants to Martha's Vineyard in Massachusetts.

Florida Governor Ron DeSantis responded Tuesday to critics of him transporting immigrants to Martha’s Vineyard in Massachusetts.

In a statement to the newspaper, Patronis noted that Pizzo voted to approve the $12 million seed appropriation bill and said DeSantis’ office was operating in accordance with him.

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


“Senator Pizzo, along with Minority Leader Lauren Book, voted in favor of appropriating $12 million to resettle immigrants,” Galletta wrote. “Now that the law they voted for is being implemented and shedding light on the border crisis, Pizzo and Book have gone back to their same old playbook and hired a Democratic operative attorney to go after the executive branch for following the law. We have received the filing and are currently exploring options for sanction and/or counterclaims.”

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 flown to Martha’s Vineyard.

The lawsuit alleges that DeSantis “designed and executed a premeditated, fraudulent, and illegal scheme focused on exploiting this vulnerability for the sole purpose of furthering his own personal, financial, and political interests.”

government DeSantis spokeswoman Taryn Fenske described the class action lawsuit as “political theater.”

“If these activists were to spend even a fraction of this time and effort at the border, perhaps some accountability would be placed on the Biden Administration’s reckless border policies that lure illegal immigrants into dangerous and often deadly journeys across borders.” Central America and put their lives in danger. hands of cartels and coyotes,” Fenske said.


He added: “Immigrants were homeless, hungry and abandoned, and these activists didn’t care about them at the time. The Florida program gave them a fresh start in a sanctuary state and these people chose to take advantage of charter flights to Massachusetts.” “.

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

Associated Press contributed to this report.


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