Friday, August 19, 2022

Florida Supreme Court Sides with Governor DeSantis as they Approve his Request for Statewide Grand Jury on Immigration

This week, the Florida Supreme Court approved Governor Ron DeSantis’ request to establish a statewide grand jury to investigate issues related to immigration, such as the smuggling of undocumented immigrants into the state.

Justices unanimously decided that the grand jury would be implemented for a year in the 10th Judicial Circuit, consisting of Polk, Hardee, and Highlands counties. The circuit’s chief judge, Ellen Masters, will preside over the grand jury.

Per DeSantis’ request, the order listed several issues the jury could focus on. For example, the jury could investigate “parents, guardians or other family members of unaccompanied [migrant] children who have conspired with transnational criminal organizations or other illicit actors to smuggle, and thus endanger, their children.”

Creating statewide grand juries is a rare move. One of the highest-profile statewide grand juries in recent years was formed to investigate school safety and other issues after the 2018 mass shooting at Parkland’s Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School.

DeSantis and Florida’s Attorney General Ashley Moody have frequently criticized the Biden Administration’s immigration policy. The Governor also signed the controversial Senate Bill 1808, which includes banning state and local government agencies from doing business with transportation companies that bring undocumented immigrants into the state. He expanded a 2019 law that seeks to ban “sanctuary cities” in Florida.

“As more illegal aliens enter the United States and settle in Florida, more will seek to have their children illegally smuggled here as well,” DeSantis wrote in the petition.

CBS News