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Hefty Price for a Political Stunt

Recently Florida Governor Ron DeSantis chartered planes and flew approximately 50 migrants from Texas to Martha's Vineyard in Massachusetts. Conservative media and Congressional Republicans applauded the move, chuckling that the stunt will expose liberal rhetoric about welcoming migrants as a lie.

Instead, it exposed DeSantis as both cruel and foolish, providing yet another example why he is unfit to govern. Shortly after the migrants arrived and were left stranded, the residents of Martha's Vineyard joined with local and state officials to provide temporary shelter and food before transporting the families to a base on Cape Cod to be cared for.

The residents of Martha's Vineyard treated the asylum-seeking migrants with dignity and compassion; DeSantis treated them as political pawns, luring them onto planes under false pretenses. This is considered a crime that could qualify the migrants as victims under human trafficking laws. Under the Victims of Trafficking and Violence Prevention Act of 2000, immigrants who were victimized would be eligible for a U Visa (a special non-immigrant status).

DeSantis' cruel and foolish political stunt backfired and could expose him to criminal prosecution. The migrants that DeSantis dumped at Martha's Vineyard have filed a lawsuit; Rep. Bennie Thompson has asked DOJ and DHS to investigate DeSantis for migrant trafficking; Bexar County Sheriff Javier Salazar has opened his own criminal investigation.

And the cost to Floridian taxpayers is $615,000; that's $12,300 per migrant. A hefty price to pay for a political stunt.

Ronald Berg


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