A little over a week ago, Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis with support of others flew about 50 Venezuelan immigrants from San Antonio to Martha’s Vineyard in an attempt to protest President Joe Biden’s current immigration policy.
While the migrants were not aware of the final destination, they were supposedly promised a chance at a better life. DeSantis now faces a federal class action lawsuit from a civil rights law firm, according to National Public Radio (NPR).
The bold political move of moving migrants that cross the border included locations like Martha’s Vineyard, Chicago, New York City and Washington D.C. Was this a wise decision for the Texas and Florida governors to make in light of recent events?
“I think the direction we’re heading isn’t a good one,” said Caspar Dadgar, a freshman Journalism major at UNLV. “I lived in Europe and the more lenient border control works over there, but I think the contrast between the U.S. and its neighboring countries is too sharp for that to be effective. My heart goes out to those who have to stay [wherever they’ve been transported to] but I also understand immigration policy is a complex issue that is hard to deal with.”
Dadgar said that DeSantis may not have made a just move through the lenses of migrants. However, the decision was an effective one in getting his message across about the need for regulation on illegal immigrants crossing the southern border.
According to Politico, the DeSantis administration paid Vertol Systems Company Inc. $615,000 to transport the migrants out of San Antonio.
Some, such as American radio host Charlamagne Tha God, hold the belief that DeSantis’ move was pivotal in pointing out the hypocrisy of Democrats for wanting to accommodate illegal migrants without directly having to deal with the population influx, which he mentioned on his Comedy Central late-night talk show, “Hell of A Week with Charlamagne Tha God.”
In DeSantis’ officially release statement, it was made evident that DeSantis’ intentions were to emphasize the danger and severity following the border security issue, such as the 53 immigrants who died in an abandoned truck in Bexar County this June.
Gov. Abbott specifically has already taken similar action in August, where he added sanctuary cities New York City and Chicago as additional drop-off locations, according to the governor’s office.
The migrants left Martha’s Vineyard to take shelter at Joint Base Cape Cod, according to the state of Massachusetts.
While the migrants that were transported to Martha’s Vineyard remained unharmed throughout the process, this is not the case with many illegal migrants throughout their journey of crossing the border.
If this much commotion can occur around 48 migrants, then Gov. DeSantis has likely achieved his goal of drawing attention to the topic of illegal immigration. Many migrants have died while attempting to cross the Rio Grande or after being abandoned without resources.
DeSantis now faces a lawsuit filed by Lawyers for Civil Rights and the migrant-led nonprofit Alianza, according to NPR. He may soon have to pay the price for his actions whether that be financially, politically or both.
While many have criticized DeSantis for using the migrants as political pawns, the Florida Governor has done a substantial job of resurfacing the topic of illegal immigration in the U.S. to the table, especially as it is relevant to his state.