A federal judge threw out a lawsuit by Florida that sought about $1.5 billion in reimbursement from the federal government for medical and incarceration costs for illegal immigrants.

Gov. Lawton Chiles said he would appeal the ruling, in which the judge said he did not have the authority to force the federal government to reimburse the state's costs for caring for illegal immigrants.

U.S. District Judge Edward B. Davis said he recognizes that Florida has "a tremendous financial burden due to the methods in which the federal government has chosen to enforce the immigrations laws."

Over the past year, four other states -- Texas, California, New Jersey, and Arizona--have filed suit against the federal government for reimbursement of costs associated with illegal immigrants; including Florida, the costs total more than $7 billion. The five states have the highest immigrant populations in the country.

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