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Legal challenges mounting for DeSantis over migrant flights

The hits keep coming after the Florida governor’s cruel anti-immigration stunt to drop off migrants in liberal-led regions, such as Martha’s Vineyard.


Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis’ cruel plot to lure migrants in Texas onto planes and drop them off in liberal-led regions is facing a storm of legal blowback. 

On Tuesday, lawyers representing migrants added a woman identified as Perla Huerta to a lawsuit seeking damages from the DeSantis administration, according to The Texas Tribune

Huerta is believed to be a key figure in DeSantis’ plot. She allegedly coordinated with officials from the governor’s administration — which funded the September flights to Massachusetts — as she and others covertly recruited migrants who had crossed into the U.S. from Mexico. The migrants say they were duped into taking the flights with false promises of aid.

The lawsuit, led by the Massachusetts-based law firm Lawyers for Civil Rights, seeks damages and an injunction blocking DeSantis and Florida from coercing migrants to travel through “fraud and misrepresentation,” The Texas Tribune reported. (DeSantis did not immediately respond to the Tribune’s request for comment.)

And the hits keep coming.

On Wednesday, The Miami Herald reported that the Florida Center for Government Accountability has asked a judge to issue contempt charges against DeSantis’ administration, saying he has failed to comply with a court order to hand over text messages and other communications of his chief of staff, James Uthmeier, related to the flights. Uthmeier is also listed as a defendant in the Massachusetts-based lawsuit. (Huerta and representatives for DeSantis’ office did not respond to the Herald’s requests for comment.)

DeSantis has managed to get himself into a costly quagmire with his Martha’s Vineyard stunt. What’s more, outside of his own state — where his political dominance is likely attributable to some deeply troubling machinations — there’s no evidence this stunt served Republicans any good. 

Perhaps this is some of that political brilliance so many Republicans have claimed to see in DeSantis after the midterms.