In the past few weeks, Republican governors in Florida and Texas have put migrants on buses and planes and shipped them off to Democrat-led cities and states in a sickening political stunt, using the immigrants as pawns in their attempts to make the Democrats look bad.
Gov. Ron DeSantis of Florida paid an estimated $615,000 to charter a plane in order to fly 48 Venezuelan migrants from Texas to Martha’s Vineyard in Massachusetts, a small island where very wealthy celebrities and politicians have vacation homes, from the Clintons and the Obamas to Oprah Winfrey and Bill Gates.
In order to get the migrants on the plane, they were lied to and promised a variety of assistance when they arrived. In reality, they were basically kidnapped and left to fend for themselves. At the island, migrants explained to reporters that they had been told there would be work, food, and housing ready for them when they arrived, all of which were lies. Other migrants said they were told they were being taken to Boston where they could get documentation to begin work.
Of course, the whole point was just to leave the migrants stranded on the island in order to generate a publicity stunt. These politicians have no interest in helping migrants. They just wanted to be able paint the Democrats, who often claim to be the champions of immigrants, in a negative light.
And now the Democrats have tried to use these cynical, Republican publicity stunts to continue to make themselves look like the defenders of immigrants, and have begun to pursue criminal charges against the Republicans that are responsible. But the Democrats are no champions of immigrants either. When Trump was president, the U.S. actually removed fewer immigrants per year than were deported during the Obama administration. And now under Biden, the U.S. is on track to arrest about 2.3 million migrants at the southern border this year alone, the largest number ever of arrests at the border.
It is true that the Democrats are not coercing migrants onto buses and planes to be shipped off to faraway places with no plans for assistance. But at the same time, the Democrats continue to arrest and deport migrants in record numbers at the southern border. Both are crimes against these people fleeing desperate situations.
The mass immigration and refugee crisis is not the making of one party or the other, one president or the next. It’s the result of decades of U.S. policies that have siphoned wealth out of Central and South America, policies that have supported dictatorships and drug lords who stay in power through extreme violence and intimidation. And recent migration has also been due to ongoing climate destruction, which has led to severe droughts and other extreme weather events that have forced millions of families around the world to leave their homes in order to survive. In the end, despite their differences with each other, neither the Democrats nor the Republicans support immigrants.