DeSantis Sparks National Outrage by Extending His Migrant Programs

Toni Koraza
Photo byPhoto 145356576 / Desantis © Zhukovsky |

Florida Republicans are about to deliver more of their controversial political stunts.

Governor Ron DeSantis is anticipated to use a special session to expand the state's migrant flight program after flying about 50 migrants from Texas to Martha's Vineyard last year.

The state has been paying millions for this program, $1,6 million for transportation, and about one million in legal fees. Florida judge has rejected DeSantis's bid to toss out the claim. Migrants are about to get their day in court. And that's just the beginning.

Expanding the migrant relocation program

In coordination with DeSantis, Republican legislators will meet in a special session this week to discuss legislation establishing the Unauthorized Alien Transport Program. Included on the agenda is the issue of Disney's self-governing Reedy Creek Improvement District and the prosecution of election crimes.

Based on the governor's budget recommendation, "The Legislature finds that the U.S. Government has failed to secure the nation's border and has allowed a surge of unauthorized aliens to enter the United States in violation of the law."

"To mitigate the effects of this crisis on the state of Florida, there is hereby created the Unauthorized Alien Transport Program within the Department of Transportation for the purpose of facilitating the transport of inspected unauthorized aliens within the United States, consistent with federal law," it added.

DeSantis activated the Florida National Guard in response to the recent arrival in the Florida Keys of hundreds of migrants, mainly from Cuba and Haiti.

The governor has included $12 million for the migrant program in his annual budget, with money coming from COVID-19 federal relief funds.

State Senator Jason Pizzo, a Democrat from Miami, filed a lawsuit against DeSantis, claiming he violated a spending provision stipulating that such money must only be used to deport migrants from Florida. Another $12 million is needed to fund DeSantis' new program.

Regarding the two trips to Martha's Vineyard, the Florida governor is the target of numerous lawsuits, including ones from the Boston-based Lawyers for Civil Rights and the Center for Government Accountability.

What do you think about flying migrants across the country this way?

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