DeSantis Wins Lawsuit Dealing With Illegal Immigrant Flights to Martha's Vineyard

AP Photo/Lynne Sladky

Ron DeSantis set off a firestorm back in September after sending flights of illegal immigrants to Martha’s Vineyard, a self-described “sanctuary city” and playground for the leftwing elite.

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Immediately, DeSantis was accused of being criminally and civilly liable for giving people rides that they volunteered to take. A local sheriff opened an investigation, claiming the Florida governor broke the law by supposedly coercing the illegal immigrants. Meanwhile, Rep. Adam Schiff called for a House select committee on the matter.

Then there were the ridiculous lawsuits filed by illegal immigrants and government accountability groups.

It was all just so absurd. If the illegal immigrants volunteered to go and were told where they were going, how could that be illegal? And to be clear, that’s exactly what happened. No one was taken to Martha’s Vineyard under the false pretense that they’d be going somewhere else or that they’d immediately be given a job. In fact, most of the illegal immigrants were thankful for the ride given the other option was sitting on the streets of Texas border towns with zero prospects.

Now, one of the lawsuits has come to a conclusion, and once again, DeSantis has won the day.

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A Leon County circuit judge has dismissed a lawsuit alleging that the Florida Department of Transportation and a contractor did not fully comply with public-records requests about controversial state-funded flights of illegal migrants to Martha’s Vinyard in Massachusetts.

Judge Angela Dempsey last week issued two similar decisions rejecting the lawsuit that the non-profit Florida Center for Government Accountability filed in October against the Department of Transportation and Vertol Systems Company, Inc.

The center contended that the department and the contractor violated the state’s public-records law by not fully providing requested documents about the September flights of about 50 migrants from San Antonio, Texas, to Martha’s Vineyard. The flights, engineered by Gov. Ron DeSantis’ administration, have drawn national scrutiny.

In this specific lawsuit, the Florida Center for Government Accountability sued DeSantis claiming he hadn’t turned over all the records related to the flights. The judge disagreed, deciding that there was no proof the records even existed, much less that they were being illegally held. That follows another recent legal victory in which a judge decided that DeSantis did not have to reinstate far-left prosecutor Andrew Warren, who was removed from his position for refusing to enforce Florida laws surrounding “gender-affirming care” for minors.

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What does this show about DeSantis? I think it’s more evidence that he chooses his battles wisely. Yes, he’s a tough talker, but if you don’t win, then what’s the point? The evolution of conservatism is one that doesn’t hand its enemies easy victories and stays two steps ahead. That’s how you win elections and actually push through reforms in the current environment.

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