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Opinion

Editorial: Immigrants are not game tokens to be abused by blindly ambitious politicians

Posted September 18, 2022 11:53 p.m. EDT
Updated September 19, 2022 5:58 p.m. EDT

CBC Editorial: Monday, Sept. 19, 2022; editorial #8791
The following is the opinion of Capitol Broadcasting Company


It is a dehumanizing spectacle reflective of the way medieval royalty treated serfs and peasants. It is the way dictators treat their subjects as objects.

Here’s the sad truth: To Florida’s Gov. Ron DeSantis the shipment of human beings in two planes from Texas, then onto Florida, South Carolina, Charlotte and eventually to Martha’s Vineyard off the coast of Massachusetts is all about the GAME of politics. He dehumanizes the migrants and refugees into game pieces. Pawns in a chess match, tokens on a Monopoly board.

It is the treatment of men, women and children – refugees desperate to escape violence, poverty and oppression largely from Venezuela – as if they are commodities. Even Texas Republican Sen. Ted Cruz says such transporting of migrants is illegal.

Politics is not a game where human lives are to be played with in such a frivolous way. There are appropriate ways to raise key issues – DeSantis makes it all a mockery. There needs to be an investigation into whether his actions amount to human trafficking – and if so he should be brought to justice.

No one reasonably argues that our nation’s boarders should be open without any appropriate regulation. Nor is it reasonable to suggest that the millions in this nation already illegally – whether as laborers, immigrants or political refugees – can simply be sent back to their original homelands.

The debate over how best to have secure borders and humane immigration and refugee policies does not excuse such inhumane treatment as DeSantis displayed.

There are significant questions about whether these migrants were told the truth about why they were being sent out of Texas, where they’d be going and what to expect when they arrived. There are reports of a blonde woman in San Antonio, Texas who may have misled some of the migrants.

Some say they were given gift cards for fast-food restaurants and promised free travel to a “sanctuary” where they’d receive help getting their lives in order.

"We have the governor of Florida ... hatching a secret plot to send immigrant families like cattle on an airplane," said Massachusetts state Rep. Dylan Fernandes, who represents Martha's Vineyard.

“They were also told there would be employment opportunities and immigration relief available to them if they boarded the plane,” said Ivan Espinoza-Madrigal, executive director for Lawyers for Civil Rights Boston.

Our nation has an immigration system that clearly needs work so it provides what many Americans want -- secure borders with rules and regulations for people who immigrate in a lawful way. Further, the backlog of migrants and refugees awaiting processing gets cleared in an expeditious and orderly way. They want a system where those who are here and are otherwise law abiding, can pay a fine or penalty and are provided a route, over time, to citizenship.

The security of our nation’s borders and the plight of those who come to our nation seeking a better life or escaping oppression is not a partisan issue but needs to be addressed in a mature way with common sense solutions.

Dehumanizing stunts like DeSantis’ shipping people around the nation are abusive. He clearly lacks any qualification for president, much less another term as Florida’s governor.

NOTE: This editorial has been updated to correct the spelling of "serfs."


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Capitol Broadcasting Company's Opinion Section seeks a broad range of comments and letters to the editor. Our Comments beside each opinion column offer the opportunity to engage in a dialogue about this article.

In addition, we invite you to write a letter to the editor about this or any other opinion articles. Here are some tips on submissions >> SUBMIT A LETTER TO THE EDITOR