Florida Immigration Coalition Inc., et al. v. Ronald D. DeSantis, et al.
During 2022, Florida established a “Relocation Program” for the “transport of unauthorized aliens from the state.” The Southern Poverty Law Center and its partners filed a federal lawsuit challenging the constitutionality of Section 185 of Florida’s 2022 General Appropriations Act, which created the $12 million program at the request of Gov. Ron DeSantis.
The lawsuit, filed on behalf of three nonprofit immigrant rights organizations, argues that this program violates the supremacy clause of the U.S. Constitution by usurping the federal government’s sole role in regulating and enforcing immigration law. It also violates the 14th Amendment’s equal protection clause by allowing state-sponsored harassment of immigrants based on race, color and national origin.
DeSantis’ program is funded by interest earned from federal COVID-19 relief funds received by the state. It was established during a year the governors of Texas and Arizona garnered national headlines by busing immigrants to states that are home to so-called “sanctuary cities.”