Florida — Florida Democrats are asking for state legislative leaders to block Governor Ron DeSantis from accessing more taxpayer dollars to transport migrants throughout the country.
The call comes after DeSantis transported 50 Venezuelan migrants from Texas, into Florida and then onward to Martha’s Vineyard.
The Governor has called the outrage over his actions hypocritical drawing comparisons to the midnight flights that have previously landed at JIA transporting migrants into Florida from other parts of the country.
But Democrats argued on Monday the Governor exceeded his authority when he sent the migrants to Martha’s Vineyard.
In this letter sent to the Chair of the Joint Legislative Budget Committee Florida Democratic lawmakers ask for Governor DeSantis to be barred from accessing any more of the $12 million set aside for migrant relocation in the state budget.
“To cut the purse strings and stop wasting taxpayer money on political stunts,” said State Representative Evan Jenne (D-Hollywood).
Jenne noted the cost of transporting the 50 migrants from Texas to Florida and finally Martha’s Vineyard came out to $615,000 – or roughly $12,000 per-person.
He believes because the migrants didn’t actually come from Florida, the Governor has exceeded the limits of the migrant relocation fund.
“These folks weren’t in the State of Florida. They were in Texas. They weren’t coming to the State of Florida, but that money was spent on something that won’t make Floridians any safer,” said Jenne.
Governor Ron DeSantis said last week the migrants had indicated they planned to come to Florida.
“And so, our view is you gotta deal with it at the source and if they’re intending to come to Florida, or many of them are intending to come to Florida, that’s our best way to make sure that they end up in a sanctuary,” said DeSantis.
State Representative Fentrice Driskell (D-Tampa) also argued the Governor’s actions violated state statute, claiming the migrants were legal-asylum seekers, not illegal aliens.
“A condition predicate to triggering the Governor’s authority to spend these dollars means that these have to be unauthorized aliens,” said Driskell.
But DeSantis argued the cost of doing nothing would far exceed the $12 million at his disposal for migrant relocation.
“Just the sheer volume of people. When you impose that on communities that’s massive cost to just the social system. Education, health care, public safety all of those different things get very, very taxed. And you saw that in stark relief when one of the wealthiest enclaves in America, indeed the world, said they didn’t have the resources to deal with 50 people,” said DeSantis.
We reached out State Representative Jay Trumbull (R-Panama City) who chairs the Joint Legislative Budget Committee ourselves for his reaction to Democrats’ request.
We did not receive a response.
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