The recent scandal involving Florida’s inflammatory governor apparently sending a group of 50 Venezuelan asylum seekers to Martha’s Vineyard — allegedly under false pretenses, and …
The recent scandal involving Florida’s inflammatory governor apparently sending a group of 50 Venezuelan asylum seekers to Martha’s Vineyard — allegedly under false pretenses, and on the taxpayers’ dime, no less — has renewed a conversation locally about the state of affairs regarding migrants, and about whether those realities will come to affect our own state at some point soon down the road.
The issues associated with increasing immigration is one that should not be ignored — as it has been reported, arrests of those attempting to cross illegally at our Southern borders surpassed two million in a single year for the first time in our history.
However, as Gov. DeSantis so nakedly showed in this recent incident, utilizing that crisis as a political ploy to damage your ideological enemies is a gross, inhuman response that does absolutely nothing to address the actual issue at hand. Rather than use human beings as political pawns, we should be having real conversations about what states can, and should, be doing to prepare for a continuing influx of people that are so desperate to improve their situations that they would rather pick up and risk everything to relocate rather than remain where they are.
The Florida case is particularly distressing because it involves those fleeing from what has become recognized as an increasingly dangerous, exploitative, authoritarian regime — something that Americans should have a soft spot for rather than a cynical one. But when using polarizing language such as “migrants”, we strip these individuals of their humanity and diminish them into caricatures, and how you feel about their plight then becomes secondary to which “side” of the issue you root for.
We live in a state where, as of 2020, about 13 percent of our residents are immigrants, and where about one in every five people who live here are native-born Americans with at least one immigrant parent. These are our neighbors, business owners, friends, and relatives. They are no less or more worthy of support than anyone else who has been in this country for generations.
There is a vast range of concerns to discuss when thinking about the increasing waves of those seeking better opportunities here in America. It is no secret we have much progress to be made in our ability to house, feed, and safely secure millions of our own people, much less worrying about the millions of those who were born into an equally untenable situation in other countries.
But rather than attempt to vilify those who are seeking a better life, perhaps we should start having these difficult discussions as a nation, and as individual states, on how we can work together to lighten the tremendous weight this crisis will bear on all of us. What we have now, where one state attempts to peacock how foolish the other is by sending a plane full of people to the other and essentially saying, “There, you got what you wanted,” is neither helpful nor acceptable, and it should not be accepted by the American people — so many of who came here with the same dreams and aspirations from lands elsewhere.