Legislators give DeSantis $10 million more to move migrants
The Two-Family Martha’s Vineyard Explanation for the $21 Million Unauthorized $Mexico$-U.S. Immigration and Nationality Act
The man who said he worked with a woman to sign up other people to migrate agreed to speak if his name wasn’t used, because the events are under investigation. He said he first met Ms. Huerta on Sept. 10 outside the Migrant Resource Center in San Antonio.
The effort to fly migrants to Martha’s Vineyard appeared to have been far less organized than the more sweeping program created by Mr. Abbott in Texas that already had bused more than 11,000 migrants from the state to three northern, Democratic-run cities — Washington, New York and Chicago.
But the goal for both governors was the same: draw attention to the large number of unauthorized migrants arriving daily at the southern border and force Democrats to deal with the migrants whom they profess a desire to welcome.
State records show that the airline charter company, Vertol Systems, was paid $615,000 on Sept. 8, less than two weeks later. The first payment was for “project 1” and the second payment for “projects two and three.” The initial flights have been acknowledged and no plans have been made for others.
The money to fly migrants came from a special $12 million appropriation in the state’s last budget, a brief item that gave funds to the state’s Department of Transportation to create a program “to facilitate the transport of unauthorized aliens from this state.”
The intent of the GOP is to identify immigrants crossing into border states like Texas, who plans to move to Florida, and then give them flights elsewhere.
The legislation has no way of knowing how state contractors would identify the immigrants or how the state would coordinate with local officials when they are transported. “It shows you how this is all just a mere political stunt,” says immigration attorney Ira Kurzban, who is based in Miami.
The Supremacy Clause in the US Constitution prevents state and local governments from interfering with federal law, so I believe the program is in violation of this clause.
The Immigration and Nationality Act only gives the governor rule-making authority to transport inspected unauthorized aliens, but the Division of Emergency Management is given that authority by the measure.
Under federal immigration law, migrants who are paroled into the U.S. are required to appear in court for a hearing at a later date. Francisco Symphorien-Saavedra, an immigration attorney based in Orlando, Fla., says that moving asylum seekers away from the jurisdiction where they have a scheduled hearing could disrupt that process. “To what extent is the state of Florida going to provide advanced notice to customs officials that these people are moving?”
Democrats tried change the bill to ensure migrants are voluntarily relocated and informed about where they’re going, how relocation could affect their immigration case and what’s waiting for them when they arrive at the destination. Republicans have said they will only move immigrants who agree to relocate if there is a word “voluntary” in the bill.
A state lawmaker spoke on the House floor Thursday and said that immigrants are deserving of respect and dignity but can’t consent if they don’t understand what they’re being asked.
DeSantis, Eskamani, and the Miami-Dade County Sheriff’s Deportation Expenditure
State Rep. Anna Eskamani filed an amendment to try to prevent the program from turning into a money making operation to people affiliated with political offices. “It’s a warranted amendment because this already happened.”
“We can just sit here and do nothing about it, or we can actually stand up and say ‘whatever tools we have at our disposal, we are going to use,’ ” DeSantis said last week.
And he defines success as getting the federal government to do more to reduce the number of immigrants crossing the U.S. border. “I think the big thing is to show people that we are serious that the federal government needs to get their act together and solve this problem.”
The lawsuit was filed by the state senator from Miami-Dade County. His complaint says that he was wrong in transporting immigrants from Texas because they were only given permission to relocate if they were already in Florida.
“Our governor broke the law,” said Democratic Rep. Anna Eskamani of Orlando on the House floor Friday. He’s altering the law instead of fighting it.