November 27, 2022

TRAFFIC JAM: This steadfast Senator was just given a second chance in DeSantis trafficking lawsuit

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A Florida judge tossed the lawsuit filed against Governor Ron DeSantis’ migrant relocation scam on Monday on a technicality, but it’s not over. Circuit Court Judge John C. Cooper gave the plaintiffs two weeks to refile their complaint with specific guidelines.

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“We’re talking about technical pleading issues, we’re not talking about the ultimate decision in this case, or anything else,” Cooper said Monday in Tallahassee. “Anything that I said by the way of hypotheticals, or whatever, should not be taken as a ruling or anything of that nature, for or against.”

Democratic State Senator Jason Pizzo sought to block the Governor from using state funds to fly migrants from Texas to northern states. Over $1.5 million was already spent.

“It’s not authorized in the Senate or the House for your dollars or my dollars to be spent in Texas,” Pizzo told reporters Monday, according to POLITICO.

In a bipartisan effort, the Florida legislature approved $12 million in interest earned from nearly $6 billion sent to the state as a part of the American Rescue Plan, to relocate migrants from the state. What wasn’t approved – sending bad actors to another state to trick refugees into boarding flights to Martha’s Vineyard.

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A clear violation.

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At least 48 migrants, most from Venezuela, were approached outside of a migrant shelter in San Antonio, TX. Lied to, and misled, they were falsely told that jobs, educational opportunities, and a path to citizenship were waiting in Massachusetts. Dropped off in the middle of the night, with no resources awaiting them.

Senator Pizzo named Gov. DeSantis, Chief Financial Officer Jimmy Patronis, and the Department of Transportation in his complaint. Occupy Democrats reached out to Pizzo for a statement on Judge Cooper’s decision.

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We are pleased with today’s ruling, as the Court found that we have standing to pursue these claims. Much more information on the relocation program is available today, which wasn’t before, that will greatly aids our efforts when we amend complaint. The defendants were certainly hoping that the case would be dismissed on standing, and it wasn’t.

Original reporting by Andrew Atterbury at POLITICO.

Follow Ty Ross on Twitter @cooltxchick

Ty Ross

News journalist for Washington Press and Occupy Democrats.

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