OPINION: This article may contain commentary which reflects the author's opinion.
After Republican Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis sent 50 migrants to Martha’s Vineyard and after he has sent other migrants to other liberal bastions across the United States, President Joe Biden is not interested in addressing the situation.
White House Press Secretary Karine Jean-Pierre said in a press briefing on Tuesday that there was no way to come to an understanding with the Florida governor on the issue.
“Did the White House ever try to get in touch with Governor DeSantis or Governor Abbott about this to try to reach some type of understanding or a solution?” NPR White House correspondent Franco Ordoñez said.
“I mean, there’s no understanding to be reached. They are using people who are leaving a commun- — communist countries as political stunt, instead of — instead of maybe what they should do is call on their senators in their — in their state. Call on, you know, Senator Marco Rubio. Ask Senator Rick Scott why is it that they did not vote for historic funding when it comes to Department of Homeland Security, making sure that we are dealing with this issue. That’s not what they did,” the press secretary said.
“This is, again, a political stunt that they are taking for their own — for their own political narrative. It is not about really dealing with what is happening and coming up with a solution,” she said.
“And in terms of — in terms of that and understanding that the White House does not support the use of people as a political stunt — but does the White House support the idea or the concepts of states further from the border accepting some more migrants, kind of sharing some of the burden of state resources being used by increasing number of migrants, whether they be from Venezuela, Cuba, or Nicaragua?” the reporter said.
“So, the way that we see it is alerting Fox News and not city or state officials about a plan to abandon children fleeing communism on the side of the street is not burden sharing. That is not the definition that we see of burden sharing. It is a cruel, premeditated political stunt. That is not what they’re — that is what they are doing,” the press secretary said.
“And so, we’re always — we’re always happy to have conversations about ways to further improve border processing. And we could be doing more if — again, if Republicans in Congress would stop blocking our efforts to pass comprehensive immigration reform and also funding — historical funding for DHS.
“So, again, this is not what border [burden] sharing looks like. They have used the lives of people who are fleeing persecution from communist countries, using them as a political stunt,” she said.
“If the governors were more open about and transparent, would that be more acceptable?” the reporter said.
“What we’re saying is the President has put forward — on day one, he put forward a comprehensive immigration reform, ways to deal with what is at stake here days — the ways to deal with a broken immigration system. He put that forward on day one,” the press secretary said.
“And what we’re asking is for Republicans in Congress to help us come up with a solution to look at what this President put forward on day one, and they are not doing that. Instead, they’re doing political stunts,” she said.
Several Democrats have accused DeSantis of legal violations including “human trafficking,” the latter a charge leveled against him by California Gov. Gavin Newsom, who suggested as much in a letter sent last week to U.S. Attorney General Merrick Garland.
Some have also said DeSantis “falsely lured” or “enticed” the migrants to the island off of Massachusetts, claims he addressed during a news conference on Friday.
“I think that’s totally false,” he said in answer to a question from a reporter. “I think if you look, the folks that are contracted, not only do they give them a release form to sign, they actually give them a packet and in that packet included a map of Martha’s Vineyard. So it was obvious that that’s where they were going, and they gave that to them.
“And here’s the thing, it’s all voluntary because it’s just the type of thing where we think that’s the right way to do it,” DeSantis added, according to The Daily Wire. “I mean, I think that if the states could send, I would send back to Mexico or back to the home country.
“But here we are doing it voluntarily, they sign a release, and then they get a packet. So they did get a packet that had the map of Martha’s Vineyard. And they’re also treated, you know very well with all this, I mean, they’re treated well with meals and everything,” he continued.
The popular governor then addressed a claim made by left-wing figures on a CNN program last week who tried to liken his actions to the Holocaust.
“I saw somebody on CNN try to say, ‘sending 50 illegal aliens to wealthy Martha’s Vineyard is reminiscent of the Holocaust,’” DeSantis said. “And I just thought to myself, has the world gotten totally mad? I mean, these are voluntary transportation that they’re signing up for, but they’re given a good ride, they’re given everything. And that’s just you know, it’s a humane thing to do.”
DeSantis then laid the blame for the ongoing migrant and drug-smuggling crisis along the U.S.-Mexico border on President Joe Biden’s reversal of nearly all of former President Donald Trump’s immigration enforcement policies.
“What’s not humane, is what Biden is doing, he’s given a false promise, the border’s open, luring people to come here for political purposes, and then basically cutting these people loose and leaving them high and dry,” DeSantis said.
"I saw somebody on CNN try to say sending 50 illegal aliens to wealthy Martha's Vineyard is reminiscent of the Holocaust. And I thought to myself, has the world gone totally mad? I mean this is voluntary transportation they're signing up for." – @RonDeSantisFL 🔥 pic.twitter.com/1A3TqwjpUk
— DeSantis War Room 🐳 (@DeSantisWarRoom) September 16, 2022
“What he should say is, ‘our border’s not open. You know, there’s ways to apply to come to this country, but just simply barreling across the border is not one of them.’ And I think you can trace all this back to him coming to office and reversing President Trump’s policies, not because Trump’s policies were wrong, it was all just a big virtue signal because they don’t like Trump. So they have to do everything the opposite of him,” he said.