Asylum Seekers Freedom Rides

Asylum Migration Politics

             New Orleans      Sometimes I have to wonder, “what are they thinking?”  Reading about the political shenanigans that began with Texas Governor Abbott and have now been picked up by Florida Governor Ron DeSantis and maybe soon by Arizona’s Republican governor as well are a headscratcher for me.  They gambit is to bus or fly immigrants, which really means asylum seekers taken at the borders by federal ICE authorities, to so-called sanctuary cities like New York City and Washington, DC.  This allows them to try to beat a drum saying that Biden’s immigration policies, which, sadly, have been almost identical to Trump’s, are clogging up their borders, so they are “sending” the problem elsewhere.  They are hoping this ignites their hardcore base and resuscitates immigration as a hot button issue for them ahead of the midterms and more.

I’m not saying it’s not a problem.  The DC mayor is asking for federal help for the 11,000 that have arrived there.  New York is sorting it out.  In Massachusetts, DeSantis sent them to Martha’s Vineyard, home of the rich off the coast.  The federal government has facilities and contracts in the border states for this purpose, and the Biden administration should step in and house and care for these immigrants, just as it does in Texas, Florida, and Arizona.  That’s a fair request.

As far as the governors’ protest goes, I’m actually OK with that as well.  Nothing wrong with protest.  They do have a big advantage over most of the rest of us though, since they can make the taxpayers pay for their actions.  DeSantis has a request to the Florida legislature for $12 million to enable him to fly the asylum seekers to Massachusetts or wherever.  If Abbott were honest with his red state buddies, he might mention that some of his very, very expensive border stunts have had be turned around, because Texas aren’t too happy with the price tag or the theater, and the Texas National Guard was bored silly and is unionizing in the face of this farce.

But, to tell the truth, I have to believe that asylum seekers will be better taken care of by the fine citizens of New York, Massachusetts, and the District of Columbia these days than the governments of Texas, Florida, and Arizona.  An asylum seeker has already lived through a hella world of hate and abuse, so why corral them in situations where they will have nothing but more of that?  Better yet, it saves some of them money, because they might have relatives or others where they end up or at least a cheaper ride to safety and security.  For immigrants, this seems to be a better deal all around.

Abbott in another publicity stunt had 101 immigrants dropped off in front of the Vice-President’s house in Washington.  Usually, the Republicans go crazy about protests at their homes rather than their offices, but it seems like they are now OK with all of us protesting at their homes now as well.  In that case, what’s good for the goose, is good for the gander.  In the other case, maybe immigrants shouldn’t smile so broadly, but these boys and their antics are a better deal for them all around.  Like most of these tricks, the backfire is going to be worth some grins for the rest of us as well, and it’s coming sooner rather than later in this crazy game they’re playing.