Sometimes, it takes a political stunt to properly frame an issue, and few recent stunts have been more effective pointing out the insanity of our immigration policy and the hypocrisy of progressives than Republican governors delivering migrants to liberal enclaves. If the freak out over a mere fifty arriving in Martha’s Vineyard is any indication, how does anyone expect southern states to handle 8,000 or more per day?
Based on the reaction from national and local Democrats along with their allies in the mainstream media, one would be forgiven for believing Florida governor Ron DeSantis released the equivalent of a Mongol horde led by Ghengis Khan on the unsuspecting island of Martha’s Vineyard last week. The island itself immediately declared an emergency in response to this unprecedented invasion, a “humanitarian crisis,” one so dire that it required assistance from “state partners” who have “pledged support and resources for the many unmet needs that we may have.” Some residents insisted they don’t have the “resources” or “housing” to accommodate the sheer number of people arriving. State Representative Dylan Fernandes declared the community “jumped into action” and took to Twitter to vent his rage at Governor DeSantis, “The Governor of one of the biggest states in the nation has been spending time hatching a secret plot to round up & ship people-children, families-lying to them about where theyre going just to gain cheap political points on Tucker Calrson [sic] and MAGA twitter. It’s f***ing depraved.” National Democrat politicians were less vulgar, but no less concerned. Senator and former Vice Presidential Candidate Tim Kaine described it as “a horrible stunt but none was worse than what DeSantis just did, and it should disqualify him from ever serving one more day in office.” He continued, “That DeSantis would go to Texas to round up Venezuelans to drop them off in Martha’s Vineyard, the guy has not the shadow of a heart or a conscience. It’s outrageous. These poor Venezuelans, what they’re suffering.” Massachusetts Senator Elizabeth Warren said, “It is cruel to treat human beings like pawns in a political game. He has reached a new low,” describing DeSantis. Senate Democratic Whip Dick Durbin described it as “cruel and inhuman” as well. Senator Bob Menendez weighed in on Twitter, “It’s shameful that instead of welcoming Venezuelans to the state with the largest Venezuelan diaspora in the U.S., @GovRonDeSantis chose to lure migrants like a human trafficker & lie about where they were going to score political points with Trump’s MAGA base.” Translation: Venezuelans belong in Florida, not ritzy, white Martha’s Vineyard where the “diaspora” is not so welcoming to people with brown skin.
One has to ask: Precisely how many migrants are we talking about that could comprise an invading force large enough to stretch the resources of one of the wealthiest enclaves on the planet? The answer might surprise you: A total of about fifty. Yes, five-zero. Not 500. Not 5,000. Not 50,000. A mere fifty asylum seekers arriving on two flights were apparently too much for Martha’s Vineyard, part of the Sanctuary State of Massachusetts, which proudly declares itself more welcoming and hospitable for illegal aliens than Republican-lead southern states. On Friday, the Governor of Massachusetts, Charlie Baker, formally activated the National Guard to relocate these migrants to an army base on Cape Cod. 125 guard members will “escort” 50 people from the island, which was completed forthwith. “Shortly after the arrival of these individuals, Martha’s Vineyard residents joined with local and state officials to create temporary shelter and provide necessities in a moment of urgent need,” the governor said in a statement. “However, the island communities are not equipped to provide sustainable accommodation, and state officials developed a plan to deliver a comprehensive humanitarian response.” Never has so much bloviating and political hot air been spent on a universe small enough to lodge comfortably in former President Barack Obama’s summer mansion, or any number of other mansions on the island, many of which are only used from Memorial Day to Labor Day and remain empty in the winter months while their rich owners seek warmer climates. To put this into perspective, the fifty new arrivals amount to a .3% increase in a total population of about 15,000 permanent residences. If they’d arrived by boat in groups of five or six, it’s doubtful anyone would’ve noticed. Nor is Martha’s Vineyard alone in their total freak-out over a relatively small number of migrants. New York City and Chicago had similar reactions when Texas Governor Greg Abbott bussed between 1,000 and 2,000 to their respective cities over the course of a few weeks earlier this year, a total of about 13,000 since April. The reaction from both Mayor Lori Lightfoot and Eric Adams was little short of sheer horror: Both insisted their cities couldn’t possibly handle the influx and demanded the federal government come to the rescue. Both maligned the Texas Governor. Both are also proud Sanctuary Cities who believe they are more welcoming and morally superior to either Texas or Florida. They are generally supportive of open border policies, additional services for illegal aliens, and a pathway to citizenship, apparently right up until real-life migrants actually arrive and need those services. Then, they can’t handle a couple of thousand in cities with populations of 2.7 million, Chicago, and 8.4 million, New York.
Meanwhile, border states, California, Texas, and Arizona, experience an influx of migrants averaging 8,000 per day, more than six times as many as Martha’s Vineyard per hour, every hour of every day. Think about that for a moment: Progressive Democrat politicians who’ve long proclaimed themselves the champions of the migrant class seek to forcibly remove a relative handful of people that arrived once in the entire history of the island, or over the course of the few months in major cities, while saying absolutely nothing about orders of magnitude more people on a daily basis arriving at the border states. One would think they’d be happy these migrants were now safely located in sanctuaries led by progressives rather than in Neanderthal-thinking Texas, to apply the President’s own choice words for the Lonestar State. After all, aren’t they supposed to receive better treatment in Democrat strongholds and haven’t Democrats been telling us for years that Republicans in general are so cruel they delight in seeing kids in cages? Some have even argued that cruelty alone is the entirety of the point of conservative policy, but whatever the case, the Abbott and DeSantis detractors clearly believe this is a challenge for California, Texas, and Arizona alone despite their protestations of moral superiority. Nor do they seem to feel the Biden Administration bears any responsibility for the staggering increase in illegal immigration that has occurred since he took office. After reversing practically every policy of former President Trump that had reduced border crossings to the lowest levels in years, and seeking to reverse even more such as the authority to expel migrants because of coronavirus protocols, illegal immigration has surged to record levels. There were 1.82 million apprehensions at the border between October 2021 and August 2022, and we can expect around 2.3 million when the government’s fiscal year ends later this month. These numbers are up over four times the level as recently as 2020, and appear to be getting worse. The Biden Administration, however, continues to insist that the border is secure despite the evidence of our lying eyes. When they are not oddly blaming Trump, who had succeeded in greatly reducing mass illegal immigration in a few short years, they insist they’re doing everything they can, as if that excuse is enough. It also bears mentioning that the Biden Administration itself has shipped migrants all over the country on planes and buses, sometimes in the middle of the night. What’s the difference here?
The result is the odd spectacle of repeated attacks on Republican governors while issuing a free pass for President Biden’s obvious failures. There is of course some truth to the claim that Governor Abbott and DeSantis are engaging in a political stunt, but so what? A significant percentage of politics in general is public relations and outright stunts. Where were these same people when Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi and her fellow Democrats donned African-inspired Kenti cloths and kneeled in the Capitol Rotunda to honor George Floyd? Where were they when progressive firebrand Alexendria Ocasio-Cortez and her fellow squad members pretended they were in handcuffs and arrested for protesting the Supreme Court decision overturning Roe v. Wade? How about when Speaker Pelosi ripped up a draft of President Trump’s last State of the Union speech on national television? In all those cases and more, the same talking heads had absolutely nothing to say, leading the cynical among us to believe the ranting and raving happening now is only because this series of stunts has been startlingly effective. They are terrified that DeSantis and Abbott have succeeded in calling national attention to an insane policy and pointing out the rank hypocrisy of leading progressives, who have no qualms about forcibly removing migrants from rich enclaves, yet insist as many should be welcomed into other areas of the country as possible.
I didn’t choose the words “ranting and raving” lightly either. The comments mentioned above were downright tame compared to what has passed for analysis among some progressive pundits. Documantarian Ken Burns compared Governor DeSantis’s actions to the holocaust on CNN. He was prompted by host John Berman, who started the conversation. “All of your documentaries are about history, but all of them also make you think about where we are. We woke up to the news this morning that Governor Ron DeSantis of Florida sent two planeloads of migrants to Martha’s Vineyard off the coast of Massachusetts, including kids and whatnot. And I’m not saying, this is not a 1-for-1, this is not a parallel here in any way, but it does address some of the same themes that are part of this documentary.” Rather than insisting Mr. Berman had lost his mind to compare chartering flights for 50 migrants to a vacation hot spot for rich people to concentration camps and gas chambers for some 6,000,000 doomed souls, Mr. Burns agreed that the parallels are obvious. “Well, it’s the abstraction of human life. It’s basically saying that you can use a human life that is as valuable as yours or mine or Lynn’s and to put it in a position of becoming a political pawn in somebody’s authoritarian game. This is coming straight out of the authoritarian playbook,” he said. “This is what’s so disturbing about DeSantis, is to use human beings, to weaponize human beings for a political purpose – it’s like when somebody disagrees with him in Florida, like the Walt Disney Company, he punishes them,” Mr. Burns continued. “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, putting on shows, political shows, political theater. And in this case, this is with the lives of human beings.” One can’t help but ask, what game, pray tell, is President Biden playing by encouraging millions of people to make an incredibly dangerous trek across Mexico for no rational reason? How many have actually died because of his intentionally lax border policies? No one will say, nor does anyone care.
Sadly, Mr. Burns and Mr. Berman were not alone in making this obscene comparison. Steve Schmidt, a former advisor to George W. Bush and John McCain, believes Governor DeSantis has unleashed our “little Eichmanns,” as in the architect of Hitler’s final solution to exterminate the Jewish people. He referred to the man who ultimately interrogated Adolph Eichmann, when he was found hiding in Argentina 20 years after World War II, Avner Less. Mr. Less noted that there were Adolph Eichmanns everywhere, they just feared coming out of the shadows in most democratic countries. “Ron DeSantis is precisely the type of man Less was describing. A tinge of power in the backwater of Tallahassee, as well as the flattery from political reporters whoring to become the next king or queen of transactional information brokering, have revealed Ron DeSantis’ character. He is a bully. He lacks restraint and judgement. He is arrogant and cruel. He is another MAGA sociopath.” If there was any doubt about what he meant, Mr. Schmidt wrote outright, “Ron DeSantis is a ‘little Eichmann.’” Apparently, all the rhetoric billowing out from the media about the need to turn down the political temperature, doesn’t apply to claiming a popular, effective Republican Governor, one who appears to be cruising comfortably to re-election later this year, is in fact a secret Nazi who happened to reveal himself by transporting fifty people to an island paradise.
Fortunately, Governor DeSantis himself doesn’t appear to be cowed by these incendiary attacks. He defends himself more effectively than I could. “We take what is happening at the southern border very seriously, unlike some, and unlike the President of the United States, who has refused to lift a finger to secure that border…you’ve had millions and millions of people pouring across illegally; record amount of fentanyl coming into our country; it is absolutely killing Americans in record numbers; of course you have criminal aliens,” he explained at recent press conference. “I would just note: Biden would fly people in the middle of the night, dump them all across this country; there was no warning on any of this. They’re doing it and they’re farming people out all around… and all of those people in D.C. and New York were beating their chests when Trump was president, saying they were so proud to be sanctuary jurisdictions, saying how bad it was to have a secure border…the minute even a small fraction of what those border towns deal with every day is brought to their front door, they all of a sudden go berserk and they’re so upset that this is happening. It just shows you their virtue-signaling is a fraud.” The governor concluded, “What would be the best is for Biden to do his damn job and secure the border.” At another event, Governor DeSantis expressed the perplexity most fair minded people are experiencing. “I was a little bit perplexed when I heard the President is scrambling to get his Cabinet together to try to address the fact that you have governors who are helping to relocate illegal aliens to sanctuary cities,” he said. “He didn’t scramble to get his Cabinet together when we had millions of people illegally pouring across the southern border. He didn’t scramble to get his Cabinet together when you had 53 migrants die in some trailer in Texas because they were neglected by the federal government. You didn’t see him scramble to get his Cabinet together when we had Americans that were victimized by criminal aliens that he let across the border. You didn’t see him scramble to get his Cabinet together when we hit record fentanyl deaths, which that fentanyl is coming across his open border.” “It’s only when you have 50 illegal aliens end up in a very wealthy, rich, sanctuary enclave when he decides to scramble on this,” he concluded. Perhaps someone in the media could ask President Biden to explain this himself.