In September, Ron DeSantis sparked outrage by sending illegal immigrants to Martha’s Vineyard, a self-proclaimed “sanctuary city” and playground for the leftwing elite.
DeSantis was immediately accused of criminal and civil liability for providing rides to people who volunteered to take them. A local sheriff launched an investigation, alleging that the Florida governor violated the law by allegedly coercing illegal immigrants. Meanwhile, Rep. Adam Schiff called for a House select committee to investigate the issue regarding the movement of illegal migrants to various sanctuary cities.
Then there were the ridiculous lawsuits from illegal immigrants and government accountability organizations. According to the lawsuit, DeSantis and his associates engaged in “a premeditated, fraudulent, and illegal scheme centered on exploiting” the migrants to further their own personal, financial, and political interests.
It was all so ridiculous. How could it be illegal if the illegal immigrants volunteered to go and were told where they were going? To be clear, that is exactly what occurred. No one was taken to Martha’s Vineyard under the pretense of going elsewhere or being immediately hired. Most of the illegal immigrants were grateful for the ride because the alternative involved sitting on the streets of Texas border towns with no future, no shelter, and little potential means to get to relatives in other states.
One of the lawsuits has now been resolved, and DeSantis has won again.
A Leon County circuit judge dismissed a lawsuit alleging that the Florida Department of Transportation and a contractor failed to fully comply with public records requests regarding contentious state-funded flights of illegal migrants to Martha’s Vineyard in Massachusetts.
Judge Angela Dempsey issued two similar decisions last week, rejecting the lawsuit filed in October by the non-profit Florida Center for Government Accountability against the Department of Transportation and Vertol Systems Company, Inc.
The center claimed that the department and the contractor violated the state’s open-records law by failing to provide all requested documents regarding the September flights of approximately 50 migrants from San Antonio, Texas, to Martha’s Vineyard. The flights, which Gov. Ron DeSantis’ administration planned, have drawn national attention.
In this case, the Florida Center for Government Accountability accused DeSantis of failing to turn over all flight-related records. The judge disagreed, ruling that there was no proof the records existed, let alone that they were being held illegally. This comes on the heels of another recent legal victory in which a judge ruled that DeSantis did not have to reinstate far-left prosecutor Andrew Warren, who was fired for refusing to enforce Florida laws governing “gender-affirming care” for minors.
What does this indicate about DeSantis? It just goes to show that he picks his battles wisely. Yes, he’s a tough talker, but what’s the point if you don’t win? Conservatism’s evolution is one that does not hand its opponents easy victories and stays two steps ahead. This is how you win elections and push through reforms in the current political environment.
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