The Texas Tribune reports, Fight over border security escalates after governors send migrants to Kamala Harris’ home, Martha’s Vineyard:
Gov. Greg Abbott’s state-funded program to bus migrants to cities run by Democrats reached a national fever pitch on Thursday, with buses dropping people off outside of Vice President Kamala Harris’ D.C. residence.
What started in the spring as a [performance politics] publicity stunt to draw the attention of the White House has caught fire, with other Republican officials in Arizona and Florida following suit. On Wednesday, Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis set off a national frenzy after chartering two flights of migrants to Martha’s Vineyard, an affluent vacation spot in Massachusetts. Meanwhile, Texas has ramped up its own busing efforts, sending more migrants to other Democrat-run metropolitan areas where local officials say their social services are being pushed to the limits.
The latest moves by Abbott and DeSantis this week have triggered outrage among immigration rights’ groups and Democrats who have accused the Republicans of engaging in human trafficking and treating migrants like “human cargo” to score political points.
DeSantis is guilty of political human trafficking. Grotesque and criminal.
— Laurence Tribe (@tribelaw) September 16, 2022
— Laurence Tribe (@tribelaw) September 16, 2022
Early Thursday morning, Abbott gleefully took credit for sending between 75 and 100 migrants to the Naval Observatory in Washington, D.C., where Harris and second gentleman Doug Emhoff reside. The move was in apparent retaliation for her comments on NBC’s “Meet the Press” in which she called the border “secure,” stoking conservative anger nationwide.
“We did [send them],” Abbott said to Lubbock radio station KFYO. “She’s the border czar, and we felt that if she won’t come down to see the border, if President [Joe] Biden will not come down and see the border, we will make sure they see it firsthand. … And listen, there’s more where that came from.”
The White House did not respond to a request for comment.
But Abbott said his office was not responsible for the two chartered planes that carried approximately 50 migrants from San Antonio to Martha’s Vineyard on Wednesday.
DeSantis claimed credit for the planes leaving Texas. He told NPR and other outlets that it was part of the state’s program to relocate migrants to a “sanctuary destination.” It’s unclear whether the migrants in the planes had any connection to Florida. The Florida Legislature set aside $12 million for the state’s migrant relocation program.
Anyway when GOPers do depraved stuff it's worth looking for the Fox host who suggested it. Tucker Carlson, July 26: "[Martha's Vineyard residents] are begging for more diversity. Why not send migrants there, in huge numbers?" pic.twitter.com/R7Gvj9PsBE
— Matthew Gertz (@MattGertz) September 15, 2022
Tucker Carlson went on a rant about Martha's Vineyard.
I edited a comment from the start and added it to the conclusion.
He starts by saying the community is 89% white. He then praises it for being wonderful, but warned it could become a slum.
He is promoting white supremacy pic.twitter.com/lyTtwjxOEm
— Decoding Fox News (@DecodingFoxNews) September 16, 2022
He says the authorities would disarm the island's residents so they can't resist the tidal wave of people. It is chapter and verse from white power tracts.
— Justin Miller (@justinjm1) September 16, 2022
“Our office has had conversations with Governor DeSantis and his team about supporting our busing strategy to provide much-needed relief to our overwhelmed and overrun border communities,” said Renae Eze, Abbott’s spokesperson. “Though we were not involved in these initial planes to Martha’s Vineyard, we appreciate the support in responding to this national crisis and helping Texans. Governor Abbott encourages and welcomes all his fellow governors to engage in this effort to secure the border and focus on the failing and illegal efforts of the Biden-Harris Administration to continue these reckless open border policies.”
DeSantis’ office did not respond to a request for comment.
These white supremacist Southern crackers aren’t doing anything new. This same performance politics publicity stunt was done by Southern segregationists in the early 1960s.
To embarrass Northern liberals and humiliate Black people, southern White Citizens Councils started their so-called "Reverse Freedom Rides," giving Black people one-way tickets to northern cities with false promises of jobs, housing, and better lives.https://t.co/xLpTjxG0PD pic.twitter.com/voiPBbwRuN
— JFK Library (@JFKLibrary) September 15, 2022
UPDATE: MSNBC’s Alex Wagner has the history that Gov. Ron DeSantis does not want taught to white kids about their grandparents’ segregationist racism.
Migrants landing in Martha’s Vineyard told reporters that they didn’t know where they were, that they thought they were going to different destinations or that they were lured on to the planes with the promise of being able to get work papers. Local officials said they were given no advanced warning about the migrants but would be providing resources to support them.
“The Department of Justice needs to investigate Governor DeSantis for using fraud and deception to lure people out of state only to abandon them without fulfilling his false promises. Same for Greg Abbott,” U.S. Rep. Joaquin Castro, D-San Antonio, said in a tweet.
The Department of Justice needs to investigate Governor DeSantis for using fraud and deception to lure people out of state only to abandon them without fulfilling his false promises. Same for Greg Abbott.
They’re engaging in human trafficking. https://t.co/5kX26LBuQf
— Joaquin Castro (@JoaquinCastrotx) September 15, 2022
I’m formally requesting the DOJ begin an immediate investigation into these inhumane efforts to use kids as political pawns. pic.twitter.com/x2sBa06nSw
— Gavin Newsom (@GavinNewsom) September 15, 2022
Sen. Elizabeth Warren, D-Massachusetts, tweeted that the state is “fully capable of handling asylum seekers” but that “exploiting vulnerable people for political stunts is repulsive and cruel.”
The League of United Latin American Citizens, the largest Hispanic civil rights organization in the U.S., held a news conference near the Harris residence Thursday afternoon and claimed two of the migrants on the buses had to be hospitalized after they arrived. One was a person with diabetes who went into shock and another was a baby who experienced health issues, according to Domingo Garcia, the group’s national president.
“These are human beings, these are fellow Christians,” Garcia said in front of the Apostolic Nunciature in Washington, D.C. “They are being treated like human cargo. I think it’s time that President Biden and Congress and the Senate provide humanitarian relief.”
Garcia said the migrants were being helped by a religious nonprofit.
To date, Abbott’s office says it’s transported at least 10,000 migrants to Washington, D.C., New York and Chicago — self-proclaimed sanctuary cities run by Democrats. Records show Texas has spent at least $12 million to find the rides. The trips are under the umbrella of his more than $4 billion border security initiative dubbed Operation Lone Star, intended to curb border crossings.
Republicans frequently refer to those taking the trips as “illegal immigrants,” but many of them are asylum-seekers who have been allowed to enter the country pending the outcome of their legal cases. The program initially started with bus trips to Washington, D.C., as a way to antagonize Biden over his border policies and the increase of migrants entering into Texas. But Abbott, who is running for his third term as governor on a border security platform, expanded the busing program to additional cities as he has leaned in to national attention he’s received for stoking fights with Democratic mayors, who are complaining about migrants straining their city resources.
Those complaints play right into Abbott’s favor, as he’s called those Democrats hypocrites and noted that Texas’ border communities are bearing the same strain felt by the larger metros.
New York City Mayor Eric Adams said in a statement Wednesday that the city’s safety net for receiving the migrants “is nearing its breaking point.” Adams suggested the city, which has a “right to shelter” law, may need to rethink how it can continue to support migrants upon arrival.
“In this new and unforeseen reality, where we expect thousands more to arrive every week going forward, the city’s system is nearing its breaking point,” Adams said. “As a result, the city’s prior practices, which never contemplated the busing of thousands of people into New York City, must be reassessed.”
Leaders of those cities have complained that Texas is not coordinating with them or giving them notice of when buses will arrive. Advocates and aid workers who support migrants along the border, meanwhile, have said that despite the political motivations driving the initiative, Abbott is actually providing many of the migrants a useful service by offering them free and safe transportation to their final destinations.
While the migrant transportation policy elicited a polarized response nationally, recent polling from Texas suggests a majority of the state’s voters support the governor’s initiative to bus migrants to other parts of the country. According to the polling, 51% approved of the policy and just 35% opposed it.
Texas has long been one of the worst states in the country. It has for the past couple of decades now been a White Christian Nationalist Republican authoritarian model for what Republicans want to do to the rest of the country.
Documentarian Ken Burns compared Florida Governor Ron DeSantis’ actions on Wednesday as that of an authoritarian leader. Ken Burns says DeSantis’ actions come right from the ‘authoritarian playbook’:
“It’s the abstraction of human life,” said Mr Burns while appearing on CNN to promote his new documentary, The U.S. and the Holocaust. The film focuses on America’s response to the Holocaust before, during, and after the Second World War.
“It’s basically saying that you can use a human life that is as valuable as yours or mine and to put it in the position of becoming a political pawn in somebody’s authoritarian game,” the famed documentarian said to CNN’s Jon Berman.
“This is coming straight out of the authoritarian playbook, this is what’s so disturbing about DeSantis is to use human beings to weaponise human beings for a politicla purpose,” he said.
“This is not the actions of a person participating in a Democratic process in which there’s an exchange of ideas this is about punishing political enemies,” he added.
BERMAN: "I’m not saying — this is not a one-for-one, this is not a parallel here in any way, but it does address some of the same themes …"
BURNS: “This is coming straight out of the authoritarian playbook … DeSantis is … weaponiz[ing] human beings for a political purpose"
— Tom Elliott (@tomselliott) September 15, 2022
Here’s a shocker: “The Ron DeSantis of The West” is not on board with this performance poiitics publicity stunt. Kari Lake ‘not a fan’ of Ron DeSantis sending plane of migrants to Martha’s Vineyard:
Arizona gubernatorial candidate Kari Lake is speaking out about Gov. Ron DeSantis sending two planes of undocumented immigrants to Martha’s Vineyard in Massachusetts on Wednesday.
Lake, appearing on Tucker Carlson’s White Power Hour on the Fox News Channel, said she disagreed with the Florida Governor’s stunt.
“I’m not a fan of it, Tucker,” Lake said. “I mean, we’re just taking people here illegally who shouldn’t be here, moving them further inland.”
Because Lake wants to deport migrants back to their country of origin, including lawful asylum seekers.
It wasn’t all criticism from Lake, however.
“I actually get a kick out of it,” Lake told Carlson. “Watching these liberal Mayors just throw their hands up and say ‘We can’t handle it.’ Because it’s life every day for us in these border states.”
Because The Cruelty Is the Point:
Trump’s only true skill is the con; his only fundamental belief is that the United States is the birthright of straight, white, Christian men, and his only real, authentic pleasure is in cruelty. It is that cruelty, and the delight it brings them, that binds his most ardent supporters to him, in shared scorn for those they hate and fear: immigrants, black voters, feminists, and treasonous white men who empathize with any of those who would steal their birthright. The president’s ability to execute that cruelty through word and deed makes them euphoric. It makes them feel good, it makes them feel proud, it makes them feel happy, it makes them feel united. And as long as he makes them feel that way, they will let him get away with anything, no matter what it costs them.
Lake’s criticism comes just weeks after DeSantis went to Arizona to campaign with her after she won the Primary with Donald Trump’sendorsement.
Lake, a former newscaster, extolled DeSantis as a chip off the Trump block while saying being called “DeSantis of the West” was a major compliment.
“He’s got BDE. I call it Big DeSantis Energy. He’s got the same kind of BDE President Trump has,” Lake said, introducing DeSantis as a Governor who brought “Trump strength” to Florida.
By the end of the evening, DeSantis was promising to send National Guard members to stand sentry at the Mexican border in cooperation with Lake if she were elected Governor.
Lake said on Fox News Wednesday that if elected, she would send National Guard troops to the border but did not reference DeSantis’ offer.
Both should lose their races in November if Americans still have a conscience and a soul.
UPDATE: Former U.S. attorney Glenn Kirschner argues that Govs. Abbott and DeSantis committed kidnapping by “inveiglement” (deception), 18 U.S. Code § 1201. Kidnapping is also a predicate offense under federal and state RICO statutes, and their was cooperation between these two governors.
The conduct of Abbot and DeSantis – using human beings as expendable political props – is not only cruel and inhumane, but it may also have violated federal law: https://t.co/FCD5zXHe65
— Glenn Kirschner (@glennkirschner2) September 17, 2022
UPDATE: h/t Daily Kos.
BREAKING: The law firm representing 30 of the 48 migrants flown to Martha’s Vineyard at the direction of Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis asked Massachusetts and federal officials to open a criminal investigation into the incident on Saturday. https://t.co/2VXCKUP9D1
— Daniel Uhlfelder (@DWUhlfelderLaw) September 18, 2022