If you still have a sense of humor after everything we’ve been through in the last few years, you have to be enjoying the hilarious story of the migrants on Martha’s Vineyard.
Our story begins back in April, when Texas Governor Greg Abbott decided to demonstrate that the situation at the southern border is unsustainable. He did this by offering some of the newly arrived migrants who were surging into Texas free transportation to the sanctuary city of Washington, D.C.
Sanctuary cities are jurisdictions that have pledged not to cooperate with federal immigration authorities. They’re governed by elected officials who are so loving and welcoming, so humane and sensitive, so caring and concerned, that they would never participate in a government action to remove people who are in the country illegally, not even when those people have been convicted of violent crimes and judges have issued lawful deportation orders.
Because, they will tell you with infinite smugness, “that’s who we are.”
Politicians in sanctuary cities have utter contempt for efforts to prevent illegal immigration with walls or fences or law enforcement.
Because, they will tell you with infinite disdain, “that’s not who we are.”
But it’s been getting harder to tell who’s who ever since Gov. Abbott decided that sanctuary cities should start providing food, housing and services to some of the thousands of migrants who were crossing the border illegally every week. Texas border towns were overwhelmed and President Joe Biden was ignoring the crisis. So Abbott began sending buses of migrants to Washington, D.C., and Arizona Governor Doug Ducey followed suit. By June, they were also sending migrants to New York and then to the Windy City.
“To continue providing much-needed relief to our small, overrun border towns, Chicago will join fellow sanctuary cities Washington, D.C., and New York City as an additional drop-off location,” Abbott told reporters. “Mayor [Lori] Lightfoot loves to tout the responsibility of her city to welcome all regardless of legal status, and I look forward to seeing this responsibility in action as these migrants receive resources from a sanctuary city with the capacity to serve them.”
The sanctuary city officials were uniformly outraged and complained furiously that their cities were overwhelmed by the influx and the cost.
At a press conference, Mayor Lightfoot had her picture taken with newly arrived migrants and declared that Gov. Abbott’s policy was “racist and xenophobic.” She called him “a man without any morals, humanity or shame,” and decried his “political stunts.” Then as soon as the cameras were gone, she had the migrants bused out of the city of Chicago to a majority-Republican suburb.
In Washington, D.C., buses from Arizona and Texas have been dropping off migrants in front of the official residence of the Biden administration’s “border czar,” Vice President Kamala Harris. District of Columbia Mayor Muriel Bowser complained to local reporters that D.C. doesn’t have “an infrastructure to handle this type and level of immigration to our city,” grousing to TV cameras, “We’re not a border town.”
Bowser declared a public emergency and demanded that the federal government reimburse the city for the $10 million it was spending on services for migrants.
To that, Texas would probably say, “Let us know how that goes.”
It’s not clear what “infrastructure” Mayor Bowser thinks a “border town” has at its disposal. Del Rio, Texas, has a population of 35,000, and tens of thousands of migrants are arriving there every month.
For comparison, the population of Washington, D.C., is 700,000. Chicago’s population is 2.7 million. And 8.3 million people live in New York City, where Mayor Eric Adams says he’s considering legal action against the Texas governor for chartering buses to bring 2,500 migrants to the Big Apple. “This is an American crisis,” Adams told TV cameras, “a humanitarian crisis that was made by human hands, by some of the governors in the southern states.”
Obviously the southern states don’t have control of the U.S. border. If they did, it would probably be considerably further north.
Abbott and Ducey were quietly making their point, exposing the hypocrisy of politicians who support what amounts to an open border as long as somebody else is paying the costs, and then everything went to the next level when Florida Governor Ron DeSantis chartered two planes and flew 50 mostly Venezuelan migrants to another sanctuary jurisdiction, the luxury liberal playground of Martha’s Vineyard. What a welcome.
“They have to move from here to somewhere else,” said the local homeless services coordinator as National Guard troops arrived. The migrants were on a bus and off the island within 48 hours.
We know the Biden administration has been quietly transporting migrants to destinations throughout the country since 2021. One way we know this is that the Department of Homeland Security’s inspector general wrote a report stating that $17 million was wasted on hotel rooms that were empty between April and June of 2021 because the contractor didn’t follow COVID-19 testing procedures before transporting migrants.
So everybody’s doing it. The Biden administration transports migrants. The governors transport migrants. The locals transport migrants. It’s like a TikTok dance craze.
And now it’s almost a national open-mic night for people who want to top each other with outrageous expressions of outrage. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez declared that the bus trips were “crimes against humanity.” Filmmaker Ken Burns, promoting a documentary series on the U.S. and the Holocaust, compared the transportation of 50 migrants to Martha’s Vineyard to the rise of the Nazis. “Straight out of the authoritarian playbook,” he intoned.
Kamala Harris declared that it was “inhumane.” Hillary Clinton said it was “literally human trafficking.” Gavin Newsom sent a letter to U.S. Attorney General Merrick Garland “strongly” urging him to open an investigation into DeSantis and Abbott for “kidnapping” or “charges under the Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organization (RICO) provisions of the Organized Crime Control Act of 1970.”
Great comedies always have a twist at the end. Watch in November as voters across the country put politicians on the next bus out of town.
Write [email protected] and follow her on Twitter @Susan_Shelley
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