Judge tweaks ruling that blocked Florida immigration law

(The Hill) — Just hours after handing down a ruling confirming that an immigration law in Florida was blocked, a federal judge issued a slight tweak to his own ruling.

Judge Roy Altman issued an injunction Wednesday, temporarily blocking a key part of Gov. Ron DeSantis’s (R) immigration law, which would make it a felony to transport undocumented migrants into the state.

Altman agreed with the Farmworker Association of Florida that federal immigration laws would likely preempt the law.

In a supplemental order issued Wednesday, Altman wrote he wanted to “clarify the scope of that preliminary injunction.” The judge said there were several reasons why a statewide injunction should be appropriate in the case.

Hours later, Altman issued another order, noting that “on further reflection,” he will be hosting a briefing on “the proper scope of the injunction.”

The judge wrote that all parties must submit a brief by June 6 on whether the injunction should apply to the plaintiffs or be a district- or state-wide injunction.

In his original order, Altman rejected arguments from Florida Attorney General Ashley Moody (R) that an injunction could prevent law enforcement from doing its job, including in their efforts to identify people who are drug traffickers.

Florida’s immigration law, SB 1718, was signed by DeSantis last year and led to some migrants being relocated to blue states across the country on buses and planes.

Immigrant rights activists and the Farmworker Association of Florida filed the lawsuit last July, specifically focusing on the transportation of individuals who entered the country unlawfully.

Following Altman’s injunction, Spencer Amdur, a senior staff attorney with the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) Immigrants’ Rights Project, said the decision was the right call. He called the law unconstitutional and said it “threatened Floridians with jail time for doing the most ordinary things, like going to work, visiting family, and driving kids to soccer games.”

“This ruling is an important victory for Florida communities,” he said in a statement. The Hill has reached out to the ACLU for an updated comment on Altman’s decision.

The Miami Herald noted that the conflicting back-to-back orders from Altman on Thursday have created confusion about how pending cases will be prosecuted and how the injunction will proceed.

The Hill has reached out to both the Farmworkers Association of Florida and Mooney’s office for comment.

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