People aren’t pawns. At least they shouldn’t be, but they are right now.
I’m referring to the immigrants being shipped like parcels from Arizona, Texas and Florida to Manhattan, Martha’s Vineyard and Washington, DC. Hard-right Republican governors in those states are using human beings to score political points. The immigrants are unwilling foot soldiers in the culture wars.
Look, anybody who reads this blog on a regular basis knows that I’m no fan of woke liberals. So, yeah, I get the point. If affluent liberal elites living in distant cities and exclusive vacation spots want to tsk-tsk at all those racists living on our southern border then I understand the impetus to give them a little taste of their own medicine.
But we’re still talking about human beings here, human beings most of whom are claiming some fear for their lives by asking for asylum in the U.S. And human beings who, by the way, could help this country with its labor shortage. (I wonder if those hard-right governors aren’t inadvertently doing those liberal places a favor by providing much needed workers.)
The Republicans would have a lot more credibility if their stunt was in the service of a serious proposal to deal with immigration. I would trade tougher border security and a remain in Mexico policy for a path to citizenship for the 11 million people already here and a big increase in resources to adjudicate asylum claims.
But, face it, the Republicans have no interest in solving these problems. In fact, any bipartisan compromise solution would rob them of a hot issue. Their interest is in revving up their base and making a play for some independent voters in November. I’m not especially sympathetic to the hard-left liberal elites on Martha’s Vineyard, but I am sympathetic to people, facing some form of push away from their homes, who still see America as place of promise.
And America still is a land of promise — no thanks to the likes of Ron DeSantis.