Opinion: ‘Political and inhumane’, DeSantis is trafficking human beings as a stunt (updated).

Matthew C. Woodruff

DeSantis signs Human Trafficking law.(floridianpress.com)

(Updated 9/22/2022) Immigration advocates are criticizing DeSantis' stunt of transporting immigrant asylum seekers to Martha’s Vineyard from Florida as ‘political and inhumane'. While the federal government discuss ‘litigation options', a group of Venezuelan asylum seekers have filed a lawsuit against Ron DeSantis for the action.

Using taxpayer money, Florida’s right-wing governor chartered two planes to transport immigrants to the northeast state of Massachusetts. He follows the lead of Texas’ governor Abbott and Arizona’s governor Ducey, who have been busing thousands of immigrants to northern cities. Meanwhile, the governors passionately claim to be “pro-life,” and have spent the past year making a big show out of protecting children from things like drag brunches, books, and posters of Black heroes in classrooms.

To be clear, it is completely legal to come to the United States at any border crossing as an immigrant or asylum seeker. The law details a process by which people seeking entry into the United States may be processed and heard before a judge. The courts then decide to either grant or deny access to the U.S. Those entering the country undocumented, either by boat or by crossing a border illegally are held and returned to their countries, except in some extreme circumstances.

Passengers on the plane were told they were going to Boston for job opportunities. No one on Martha’s Vineyard was told people were arriving, and there was no plan to feed or house or give medical treatment to the migrants, including children, once they arrived.

The group of Venezuelan asylum seekers has filed a class-action lawsuit against Florida Republican Governor Ron DeSantis and other officials after they were tricked into being flown to Martha’s Vineyard, an island off of Massachusetts. The lawsuit accuses the officials of being engaged in a “premeditated, fraudulent, and illegal scheme” to advance their own personal, financial and political interests.

“Trafficking migrants, some of whom are likely asylum seekers, to a teensy vacation destination during off-season with no heads up to anyone, is a sick exploitative act,” said Kady Ashcroft a journalist for Jezebel.

While the Republicans are busy using the most disadvantaged group of people and children imaginable as a political stunt, in Martha’s Vineyard residents (most of whom are Liberal Democrats) and local churches are feeding and housing the migrants.

Florida relies on over 200,000 migrants annually for food and farm labor who work under what advocates call ‘slave-labor conditions’, while in Texas, undocumented immigrants make up 8% of Texas’ workforce. Can anyone say 'hypocrite'?

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Matthew is an independent journalist, an internationally award-winning author best known for Dark Humor/Lite Horror/Supernatural short stories, as well as an ordained minister who served as a domestic missionary. He is a lover of the unusual, travel, cats and the spark that makes people tick. Matthew is based in Florida, USA.

Gainesville, FL

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