We see that you have javascript disabled. Please enable javascript and refresh the page to continue reading local news. If you feel you have received this message in error, please contact the customer support team at 1-833-248-7801.

ADVERTISEMENT

ADVERTISEMENT

Other View: With shameful Martha’s Vineyard stunt, DeSantis dishes out cruelty with a smirk

Every immigrant should remember the pain of their first days in America. How heartbreaking it would have been to be used as a pawn by a heartless politician.

OPED-FLA-IMMIGRANTS-DESANTIS-EDITORIAL-GET
Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis speaks at the Unite and Win Rally in support of Pennsylvania Republican gubernatorial candidate Doug Mastriano at the Wyndham Hotel on Aug. 19, 2022, in Pittsburgh.
Jeff Swensen/Getty Images/TNS
We are part of The Trust Project.

Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis’ latest stunt to embarrass President Joe Biden — in advance hopes of replacing him in the Oval Office — was to dump immigrants stopped at the Southern border in a fancy community in New England that was not expecting or prepared to house them.

What a hoot, political supporters say. What a clever maneuver, governor. Actually, it’s as clever as it is cruel.

Also Read
More than half a million privately owned parcels of coastal property — the kind of property generally held by the well-heeled — could be underwater by 2050.
Do whatever is necessary to protect the will of the people.

DeSantis is using and humiliating vulnerable human beings, people who risked their lives to escape their homeland for America, to make a political point — and further his presidential ambitions. After all, he couldn’t buy better press nationwide.

In a statement, the governor explained his actions: “States like Massachusetts, New York and California will better facilitate the care of these individuals who they have invited into our country by incentivizing illegal immigration through their designation as ‘sanctuary states’ and support for the Biden administration’s open-border policies.”

Florida, he said, will not tolerate it.

ADVERTISEMENT

Enter this insulting relocation, cranked into gear Wednesday and financed by a state where hundreds of thousands of immigrants have found refuge since the 1960s and where they have led, and continue to lead, productive lives.

The first group of some 50 refugees in the offensive program had their flights to Massachusetts paid for out of Florida’s $12 million allotment to scare away undocumented immigrants, approved by the Legislature this year. Lt. Gov. Jeanette Núñez alluded to the program several weeks ago in a radio show, creating a backlash in Miami, home to so many immigrants from Cuba, Venezuela, Colombia and Nicaragua, when she touched the third rail and said that Cubans, too, would be shipped North.

Let’s hope that backlash turns into pure outrage that Florida is joining Texas and Arizona in using human beings as pawns for political gain. It seems no coincidence that these immigrants were dropped into a swanky community where Vice President Kamala Harris and former President Barack Obama own property.

The stunt is generating national coverage for the governor. Photos show the immigrants, including families and children, being greeted by surprised townspeople. The Vineyard had no idea these immigrants were coming. Martha’s Vineyard News reported the community had to scramble to open a church to house the refugees — more mercy shown there than they received in Florida.

How cruel to put any human beings in such a predicament.

These immigrants had no idea they were political pawns. It appears that at the border, once paroled, they were told by Florida border officials sent there that they would be given housing and jobs and food in a sanctuary city, but not in Florida.

At a Thursday news conference in Niceville in Florida’s Panhandle, a smug DeSantis said those favoring sanctuary communities would get a taste of their own medicine.

“Florida is more than happy to facilitate transport to those areas,” he said.

ADVERTISEMENT

Every immigrant in Florida should remember the pain of their first days in America. How heartbreaking it would have been to be used as a pawn by a heartless politician.

©2022 Miami Herald
Distributed by Tribune Content Agency, LLC.

What to read next
Trump’s courtroom comeuppance ultimately would serve Americans of all political stripes because it would affirm a concept that badly needs affirmation: That no person is above the law.
Republicans have made their point. They got the attention they wanted. Now it’s time to engage Democrats to solve the problem.
It's now possible to imagine going to the park for great meal, taking a stroll on a boardwalk through restored wetlands, and then attending a play or musical performance at a lakeside amphitheater.
What’s the difference between those oppressed by the Castros and their successor and desperate Venezuelans fleeing a socialist dictatorship built by Hugo Chavez and Nicolas Maduro? Politics.