It was the Arizona governor — Ducey — who started it, then came Abbott from Texas and now DeSantis from Florida. Gathering up undocumented immigrants who, having crossed the border, detained and released pending a hearing of their case, were put in a bus (DeSantis uses planes) and sent to a different state willing to provide assistance until the time of their hearing.
The governors reasoned they would be endearing themselves to the voters in the upcoming elections by stressing their loyalty to Trump.
DeSantis recently put a group of undocumented Venezuelans, fleeing the communist dictatorship in their country, on a plane to Martha’s Vineyard, the elegant island resort in Massachusetts.
DeSantis’ choice of destination had an added punch. ‘You’re well off over there, aren’t you, in your privileged island, so you deal with it.’
Those bused or flown may or may not have valid reasons to seek asylum in this country, but the governors are saying, ‘we don’t have to go into all that, we’re just not going to feed or lodge you or provide any assistance whatsoever.’
The governors’ actions, however, won’t make much of a difference. Trump’s standing is slowly eroding and there’s no stopping the decline.
From the undocumented’s perspective, better to be in a place where they understand their plight and are willing to provide assistance, than to be in a place where they are unwelcome.
I can imagine a phone conversation between a recent arrival in Martha’s Vineyard, and his relatives back in Venezuela, ‘Where are you, Pepe?’, ‘Martha’s Vineyard…’ ‘What?’ ‘It’s very nice, a lot of rich people live here…’, ‘Not a bad start, brother…’, ‘Agree. I’m sure a lot of Trump’s people would like to be here, too.’ They laugh.
Immigration is a thorny issue. It needs mending.
For that, the ideal would be to have a national dialogue. A dialogue that is filled with data showing just how much immigrants contribute to this country.
Labor economists who are knowledgeable on the matter would provide the figures.
I am sure business would want a seat at the table where decisions were to be made and I don’t doubt they would speak clearly on behalf of allowing immigration to continue, with whatever modifications were necessary.
But should immigration be severely restricted simply to satisfy Trump’s base? No.
No, because we need the labor and the creativity and the dynamism that immigration offers.
The browning of…