TALLAHASSEE, Fla. — The Southern Poverty Law Center and non-profit immigration rights organizations are suing Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis over his controversial transport of migrants from Texas to Martha’s Vineyard.

The plaintiffs, which include the Florida Immigrant Coalition, filed the lawsuit Thursday on behalf of three groups in a Miami federal court. The lawsuit against DeSantis and the state’s transportation secretary contends that Florida’s program — which led the DeSantis administration to the flying of nearly 50 mostly Venezuelan migrants from San Antonio to Massachusetts in September — is unconstitutional because the state is “usurping the federal government’s sole role in regulating and enforcing immigration law.”

The lawsuit also alleges that the program is discriminatory and constitutes “state-sponsored harassment of immigrants based on race, color, and national origin.”

“The Constitution is clear — the sole and exclusive power to regulate immigration policy is granted to the federal government, not the states,” said Paul Chavez, senior supervising attorney for the Southern Poverty Law Center’s Immigrant Justice Project in a statement. “The scheme by Gov. DeSantis and the state of Florida to use taxpayer funds for the ‘relocation’ of ‘unauthorized alien’” is a blatant and unlawful attempt to harass immigrants at the state level.”

The governor’s office did not immediately respond to a request for a comment about the new lawsuit. DeSantis previously said he arranged to relocate migrants in order to draw attention to the immigration policies of the Biden administration. He claimed that the migrants went voluntarily.

But the flights sparked a massive backlash by Democrats and others. The Treasury Department’s watchdog is looking into whether the governor improperly used money connected to federal Covid-19 relief to pay for the flights while a sheriff in Texas is investigating the flights. The Boston-based Lawyers for Civil Rights also filed a federal class action lawsuit against the governor, accusing him of violating the migrants’ rights by coercing them to get on the flights to Massachusetts through “false promises and misrepresentations.”

While the administration has only flown one set of migrants so far, DeSantis vowed to spend the entire $12 million the Florida Legislature set aside for the relocation program. So far, Florida paid a Panhandle-based company a total of $1.56 million.

The lawsuit maintains that the groups — which also include Americans for Immigrant Justice and Hope CommUnity Center — are being harmed because they are diverting resources from their “core missions” to helping immigrants deal with the fallout of the DeSantis’ administration migrant relocation program.

The groups want a federal judge to declare the program unconstitutional and block the DeSantis administration from carrying out any additional flights.

The new lawsuit is one of four over the migrant flights. Besides the Lawyers for Civil Rights lawsuit, an open government organization, the Florida Center for Government Accountability, also sued the DeSantis administration for allegedly withholding public records associated with the flights.

Florida Democratic state senator, Jason Pizzo, also sued the administration in order to stop the governor from using more money on the flights. A judge in November dismissed Pizzo’s on technical grounds.

NEWS RELATED

Royal Family named for 2023 St. Paul Winter Carnival

2023 Aurora, Queen of the Snows Liv Swenson and Boreas Rex LXXXVI Leo E. Lewis are introduced during the 2023 Winter Carnival Royal Coronation at St. Paul RiverCentre on Friday, Jan. 27, 2023. The St. Paul Winter Carnival named its 2023 royalty Friday night at the RiverCentre, choosing former ...

View more: Royal Family named for 2023 St. Paul Winter Carnival

Slash talks new book, childhood with Joni Mitchell, how he 'stumbled into' playing guitar, and why Guns N' Roses would probably get 'canceled in this day and age'

Guns N’ Roses guitar god Slash certainly has led a wild life, and if he wanted to pen a juicy memoir filled with the typical topics of sex, drugs, and rock ‘n’ roll, certainly dozens of publishing houses would make him an offer. Just the acoustic album G N’ R ...

View more: Slash talks new book, childhood with Joni Mitchell, how he 'stumbled into' playing guitar, and why Guns N' Roses would probably get 'canceled in this day and age'

As he lay dying, Neptune shooting victim told girlfriend to get drugs out of the house

FREEHOLD – Randolph Goodman was outgoing, fun and family-oriented, his girlfriend, Shalyce Davis, told a jury Friday. He enjoyed gambling and sports betting, and he also loved cars and would go to auctions to get automobiles to sell, she said. Goodman also sold drugs, Davis said. He was in the ...

View more: As he lay dying, Neptune shooting victim told girlfriend to get drugs out of the house

The Kitchen Trend That Over 40% Of Real Estate Agents Say Homebuyers Want More Of In 2023

a kitchen out of focus Those selling their homes are constantly on the hunt for modernizations and tweaks to the property that can help garner increased interest. The real estate market is rife with competition, and buyers, heading into 2023, enjoy the ability to remain picky and cautious. Interest ...

View more: The Kitchen Trend That Over 40% Of Real Estate Agents Say Homebuyers Want More Of In 2023

French Prime Minister declares that raising the minimum retirement age is «non-negotiable».

Archivo – La primera ministra de Francia, Elisabeth Borne – Kay Nietfeld/dpa French Prime Minister Elisabeth Borne confirmed on Sunday that the plan to raise the minimum retirement age to 64 is non-negotiable and the result of a necessary consensus to guarantee “the balance of the system” despite strong ...

View more: French Prime Minister declares that raising the minimum retirement age is «non-negotiable».

1 man dead, 4 injured including 2-year-old and 6-year-old in shooting and crash

Four people were shot – including a two-year-old boy – and a six-year-old boy was injured in a crash in the Sandtown-Winchester neighborhood Saturday evening, according to Baltimore City Police. The incident happened at the intersection of Pennsylvania Avenue and Laurens Street a little after 6:30 p.m. Two men were shot ...

View more: 1 man dead, 4 injured including 2-year-old and 6-year-old in shooting and crash

Super Bowl 2023 odds: Who is the favorite after the NFL Divisional Round?

The last four NFL teams left standing will be doing battle at the AFC and NFC Championship games on Sunday. Here are their odds of winning the Super Bowl. Four teams will be battling it out on Sunday for a shot at Super Bowl LVII: the top-seeded Philadelphia Eagles ...

View more: Super Bowl 2023 odds: Who is the favorite after the NFL Divisional Round?

Loved ones, friends and admirers come together in celebration of Jerry Blavat's life

inside the Cathedral Basilica of Saints Peter and Paul PHILADELPHIA (KYW Newsradio) — “Your love is forever etched on my heart and soul,” said Jerry Blavat’s daughter, Stacy. Friends, family, loved ones and admirers of Philly’s legendary DJ came together Saturday, filling the pews for Blavat’s celebration of life ...

View more: Loved ones, friends and admirers come together in celebration of Jerry Blavat's life

Animal Behaviorist Shares the Heartbreaking and Emotional Reality of Rescuing Dogs

"Doesn't Really Seem Like a Joke Now": His Mother and Her Best Friend Always Had Plans to Get Their Children Together

Queens man faces life in prison for murder of his accomplice during Ozone Park shootout: DA

Shaquille O’Neal hits Nets star Kevin Durant with savage clapback over Rui Hachimura roasting

Two men sentenced for carjacking in Rosedale Center parking lot

Anderson: Time is long past to stop jumping carp from invading more Minnesota rivers

Jennifer Coolidge Says 'Most Fun I've Ever Had at a Wedding' Was for Billie Eilish and Finneas' Parents

How to Get a Girlfriend & Win Her Heart (Figure this Out First)

Man, 34, shot during argument in Lower Manhattan subway, suspect at-large

Suspected drunk driver strikes two teenagers in Bloomington

Silly & Random Dog Tweets We Found On The Interwebs Today

Tacoma woman 'borrowed' money under various false scenarios. Now she's going to prison

OTHER NEWS