September 16, 2022

Martha’s Vineyard

A group of immigrants landed on the wealthy Massachusetts island of Martha's Vineyard on Wednesday… Florida governor Ron DeSantis took credit for the arrival of two planes of immigrants, one spokeswoman told Fox News… Border states Texas and Arizona have sent thousands of immigrants to cities such as New York, Chicago and Washington. They say Democratic areas should take more immigrants because they have encouraged immigration by failing to fully enforce immigration laws.” Reuters

Here’s our previous coverage of the migrant transfers. The Flip Side

See past issues

From the Left

The left criticizes DeSantis, arguing that he is exploiting migrants as political props.

“Local officials were notified only 20 minutes before the migrants arrived. The migrants say they were told, falsely, they were headed to housing and jobs in New York or Boston. Many were confused, according to Edgartown Police Chief Bruce McNamee. ‘We have talked to a number of people who’ve asked, ‘Where am I?’ And then I was trying to explain where Martha’s Vineyard is.’… [But] If DeSantis hoped to spur anti-immigrant sentiment on the Vineyard, he failed

“St. Andrews Episcopal Church in Edgartown quickly rounded up 50 cots and mattresses and housed the migrants. An emergency room doctor came down from Boston, while lawyers offered pro bono services. Five restaurants donated far more food than the group could possibly eat. High school students studying Spanish came to translate. The Islanders Talk page on Facebook exploded with offers to help, and donations poured into a Community Services fund. So many volunteers rushed the church with toys, clothes, bedding and other supplies that the police finally pleaded for a stop to keep traffic flowing.”

Bob Drogin, Los Angeles Times

“You would think this response would have humiliated DeSantis… Instead, conservative media simply responded as if rich liberals had acted in the way Desantis anticipated…

“The Federalist gleefully reported that liberals were ‘melting down’ as if they were angry at having to accommodate immigrants, rather than at DeSantis’s abuse of immigrants. It became a ‘fact’ in the conservative media that Martha’s Vineyard was responding to the immigrants with terror… DeSantis’s whole political style is premised on the idea that conservative media is a closed information ecosystem…

“In response to [the] complaint that DeSantis neglected even to give advance notice to Martha’s Vineyard so it could prepare accommodations, [DeSantis’s spokesperson Jeremy] Redfern sniffed that coyotes don’t do this: ‘Do the cartels that smuggle humans call Florida or Texas before illegal immigrants wash up on our shores or cross over the border? No. Welcome to being a state on the Southern border, Massachusetts.’ The premise is that DeSantis has no obligation to take any more interest in safeguarding human welfare than an illegal smuggling operation does.”

Jonathan Chait, New York Magazine

“It may be true that border crossings have surged this year, but the reasons for that are complex, as The Wall Street Journal reported last month: Some of the uptick appears to have stemmed from the apparent leniency of Biden’s border policies relative to his predecessor…

“But the spike in border crossings is also COVID-related, as the Journal notes: Latin America suffered more under the pandemic than any other region, leading migrants to seek opportunity in the U.S., where the economy has recovered more quickly. Moreover, Donald Trump’s still-active Title 42 rules — the pandemic-era policy that Biden has sought to end — appear to have contributed to a rise in repeat crossings.”

Eric Lutz, Vanity Fair

From the Right

The right supports DeSantis, and hopes that his strategy will communicate the extent of the crisis at the border.

The right supports DeSantis, and hopes that his strategy will communicate the extent of the crisis at the border.

“Despite [Senator Elizabeth] Warren and [state Rep. Dylan] Fernandes putting on a brave face, the 50 illegal immigrants that Florida sent to Martha’s Vineyard are already an ‘urgent humanitarian situation,’ [according to the Dukes county emergency management association] and other Democratic cities have already complained of humanitarian crises…

“Do you know what may be more of a crisis than a liberal area receiving a few hundred illegal immigrants? How about 8,000 illegal immigrants crossing the border every single day? Meanwhile, just over 2,000 illegal immigrants have brought New York City to its ‘breaking point,’ according to Mayor Eric Adams, and the governor of Illinois has called on the National Guard to help with just 500 entering his sanctuary state…

“After just a few months, these liberal sanctuaries are straining under a fraction of what border towns have been experiencing for years. This was already a humanitarian crisis. Liberals are only just now being made to notice.”

Zachary Faria, Washington Examiner

“Some critics say that DeSantis et alia are owning the libs at the expense of desperate human beings. Well, those desperate human beings are in far less danger being dumped in a fancy liberal resort town than at any other point in their journey from their home countries…

“There are plenty of people near the borders of America who are tired of bearing the burden, financial and otherwise, of open illegal immigration. Nothing meaningful has been done about the problem as long as that burden has been concentrated in a few border states. Now those states' governors are trying something new to compel liberals to understand what they have been dealing with…

“To those who say that conservatives like DeSantis treat illegal migrants as political pawns, I say that so do liberal do-gooders, when they refuse to grapple with the very real costs of mass illegal migration. I am grateful that these red-state governors are giving the good people of Martha's Vineyard a chance to show their compassion.”

Rod Dreher, American Conservative

“The real cruelty, of course, is not a flight to one of the wealthiest communities in the U.S. but it’s President Joe Biden’s border crisis which has become so out of control that Republican governors have to resort to drastic measures to get the administration and its allies’ attention…

It’s difficult to calculate just how many tragedies have occurred at the U.S.-Mexico border under Biden… At least 650 migrants died trying to illegally cross the U.S.-Mexico border in 2021. Hundreds more have lost their lives in 2022, many to drowning. Americans, including a Texas National Guard soldier who tragically drowned in the Rio Grande River while trying to rescue illegal border crossers from the water, have also lost their lives. On top of that, crime at the border, including rampant drug trafficking, is on the rise.”

Jordan Boyd, The Federalist

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