Both Parties Are to Blame for the Immigration Crisis

When it comes to immigration, and especially at this moment in our politics, I’m a “bothsides-er.” These days, complaining about both sides—Democrats and Republicans—invites a lot of scorn and ridicule, usually from people on one side. On some issues that scorn might be deserved. But on immigration, I am happy to seethe with contempt on the sidelines.

Consider the brouhaha over Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis sending 50 migrants to the tiny liberal enclave of Martha’s Vineyard. I’m against using poor, desperate people as political props. The fact that DeSantis may have misled some migrants about what they were signing up for is even worse—though cries of “human trafficking” and “kidnapping” strike me as ridiculous, partisan-fueled nonsense.

DeSantis’ cynical stunt did everything he hoped it would. He upped the ante on Texas Gov. Greg Abbott, who has been sending busloads of (apparently consenting) migrants to liberal cities like New York and Chicago. Abbott’s efforts have a high quotient of “owning the libs” to them as well, as he has not coordinated with local officials, preferring to drop them off by surprise, most recently at Vice President Kamala Harris’ residence. Arizona’s Gov. Doug Ducey, another Republican, has been more responsible, coordinating with local officials to ensure migrants find support when they get off the bus.

But it was DeSantis’ move that sent Democrats and much of the media into a frenzy of outrage—which is exactly what he wanted. No wonder Donald Trump is reportedly furious that DeSantis is stealing the limelight from him. I will be surprised if DeSantis doesn’t get a bump in the polls among Republicans. Many Democrats won’t be surprised either, because they’ve convinced themselves that “the cruelty is the point” of Republican policies.

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