Judge orders Florida governor to respond re migrant flights

Miami, Oct 18 (EFE).- A Florida judge on Tuesday ordered state Gov. Ron DeSantis to respond to the court for sending about 50 mostly Venezuelan migrants from Texas to Massachusetts on flights that, according to a lawsuit filed in the matter, “exceeded (his) authority.”

Hector Roos, a member of the Executive Committee of the Libertarian Party of Florida and candidate for governor in the Sunshine State issued a statement on Tuesday making public the decision of Judge Lee Marsh regarding the migrant flights ordered by the Republican governor The migrants had been in San Antonio, Texas, when DeSantis organized their transfer to Martha’s Vineyard, an island off the Massachusetts coast.

In his statement, Roos said that after the judicial decision, DeSantis will have to respond to accusations that the flights he ordered exceeded his legal authority and, as a result, he took advantage of his office to create publicity to benefit his reelection campaign.

The court ruling to which Roos alluded was issued on Oct. 14 and means that the case, originally filed by the Libertarian candidate with the Florida Supreme Court before it was transferred to the Second Judicial Circuit Court in Leon County, will proceed, he said.

Judge Marsh, who issued the order, was named to the Second Circuit in 2018 by then-Florida Gov. Rick Scott, also a Republican.

Roos emphasized in the statement that DeSantis used state funds and even the Florida National Guard and volunteer police officers to support the efforts of the state of Texas to call attention to the federal immigration system.

Roos said he was grateful that the court had provided him with the chance to settle accounts with DeSantis and to obtain justice for contributors and businesspeople harmed by the governor’s conduct and what he called his ongoing risky policies.

Florida paid about $1 million to organize the transfer to Delaware – President Joe Biden’s home state – and Illinois, former President Barack Obama’s home state, of about 100 migrants who had entered the US illegally, local media reported.

About a month ago, Roos asked the Florida high court to determine if DeSantis exceeded his authority by arranging the northward flights for the Venezuelan migrants.

He said that the governor’s actions constitute the “unauthorized” transport of migrants from one state to another, announcing that he would file a lawsuit before Florida’s high court in the matter.

Meanwhile, California Gov. Gavin Newsom, a Democratic, had asked the US Department of Justice to investigate the migrant flights, something that Florida’s GOP governor undertook after Texas Republican Gov. Greg Abbott began bussing migrants to various northern cities that are governed by Democrats.

EFE arm/jip/afcu/bp

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