Many Republican politicians love to brag about being prominent members of the Family Values Party, capitalized like that.
It is the same party that in the last administration launched the cruel and inhumane separation of migrant families, the same one that installed barbed wire and deployed national guards on the border with Mexico to block mothers, fathers and minors from asking for help, those fleeing hunger, violence or totalitarian governments.
His most recent political ruse was started by the governor of the Republican Party, Ron DeSantis, from Florida, who in his eagerness to compete in the contest of lack of humanism, sent with deceit and false promises, fifty Venezuelan migrants from Texas, not Florida, to the island of Martha’s Vineyards, to “punish” politicians from Democratic states.
This is not the first time that the political class has exploited immigrants — especially café-au-lait migrants from Latin America. The Democrats have also done it with false promises of immigration reform and have reached out to our community late or when they need it to win elections.
But the actions of Ron DeSantis and his Texan compadre Gregg Abbott reach a new level of callousness and shamelessness. “Our clients were lured into boarding planes and crossing state lines under false pretenses. Several people, in collaboration with the Governor of Florida, made numerous false promises to our clients, including job opportunities, education for their children and immigration assistance, to induce them to travel,” denounced the lawyers of the Venezuelan Lawyers for Human Rights (LHR).
In fact, the migrants thought they were headed for a job in Boston and only found out they were being flown to Martha’s Vineyard, the exclusive summer resort for politicians and personalities, until they were in flight. The attorneys asked the Massachusetts attorney general to launch a criminal investigation against DeSantis. But the Sheriff of Bexar County in Texas, Javier Salazar, was already ahead of him, who described it as an abuse of human rights.
When the migrants arrived on Martha’s Vineyard they were welcomed with open arms. Although they were only there for about 44 hours, their case was a stark reminder that in some states they are welcome and needed. Several of them sensitized the residents of the island, and later the entire country through the press, of the personal odyssey that fleeing from a country like Venezuela represents.
Hopefully DeSantis’ ruse has a clear political cost, or a legal one if he broke the law. The same as for Abbott, who has spent 12 million sending migrants to Washington, New York and Chicago.
There is a reason why the number of Venezuelans, Cubans and Nicaraguans increased 175%. They flee poverty and totalitarianism. It is now clear to American voters how the ‘Family Values Party’ candidates greet them as exploitable pawns for political gain.