It was hard not to smile when Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis diverted a few dozen immigrants from Venezuela to hyper-liberal Martha’s Vineyard last week.
Then they began to exit the plane, squinting in the bright September sun and looking scared. The smile disappeared.
It hurts to see happy people. Even people you think shouldn’t be here. I only go there for the grace of God.
But Southern Republican governors are up to something. By being bused and airlifted to northern cities of refuge, migrants are finally catching the attention of liberal leaders who have no idea — or just haven’t cared — what conservative southern border states have endured over the past few decades.
New York City Mayor Eric Adams is ringing the alarm bell and speaking out about a lawsuit after Texas Gov. Greg Abbott recently brought 11,000 undocumented immigrants to New York, a city of 8.5 million. Yuma, Arizona, with a population of around 97,000, had to accept and process 250,000 undocumented immigrants this year alone, according to the Wall Street Journal. Nobody north of the Mason-Dixon line seems to care.
New York already has many non-citizens. My city has thousands; It’s not like we’ve been left untouched. But the five counties and the county where I live have declared themselves “sanctuaries,” which is effectively an invitation to additional migrants. Texas, Florida and Arizona have no such policy because they supposedly stand by our existing immigration laws and yet are hopelessly overwhelmed. No wonder they want to send non-citizens to us. With an estimated 8,000 migrants pouring across the border every day, where are these people going?
Arriving migrants pose a serious challenge to the places that have to host them. That’s just a fact. Families have to be accommodated, children have to be taught and medical care has to be guaranteed. It doesn’t make you a bad person to talk about, but the culture of abandonment hovers over any public conversation, especially in blue states. Towns and villages that are already struggling with public funds simply have to find a way, and dissenters are sacked. My local elementary school now only teaches in Spanish. English speaking students are sent to a separate school. (I was called racist because I opposed it.)
Many of these immigrants—very many—have become valuable members of our communities. Our children have made friends with their children, they pray with us at church, and they work as hard as any American to earn a living. Maybe harder.
But the sheer volume of people arriving from foreign countries, mostly Central and South America, is reaching a breaking point. Americans must feel the pressure fairly. Only then could we do something about the crisis.
The biggest problem we’ve had with the immigration issue so far is the failure of Congress to do anything bipartisanally about it. Some members of Congress have tried, but backlash from interest groups is fierce. The issue also resonates well with grassroots voters during election cycles, giving both parties an incentive to do nothing.
Meanwhile, migrants blink in the sun and the rule of law in America lies in tatters. If buses going north can help stop them in the long run, keep them going.
The opinions expressed by Republican adviser William FB O’Reilly are his own.