President Biden spoke at the Congressional Hispanic Caucus Institute gala on Thursday, addressing the latest Republican drama regarding the relocation of immigrants as a media stunt. In his address, he referred to Republican officials as “un-American,” stating that they were “playing politics” and that their tactics were “wrong and reckless.” This oppositional sentiment is shared by many who are also referring to the political move as inhumane and simply cruel. Whitehouse press secretary Karine Jean-Pierre called it a “cruel, premeditated political stunt,” backing up her statement by explaining that Fox news was informed of the event before the Department of Homeland Security, the city, or even local organizations.
Florida governor, Ron DeSantis, partnered with Texas Governor, Greg Abbott, to relocate two planes worth of immigrants from Florida and Texas to Massachusetts Martha’s Vineyard and Vice President Kamala Harris’s DC residence. The stunt was defended by one of DeSantis’s spokespersons stating that it was part of Florida’s immigration policy to relocate immigrants to “sanctuary states.” The political stunt in question is all part of DeSantis’ ploy to take a public stance on immigration. Some are saying the move is a tactic to set himself up to run for the 2024 U.S. Presidency.
The strategic moving of immigrants to the “sanctuaries” was also a costly endeavor. The relocation cost the state of Florida approximately $12 million from the state budget for the Department of Transportation to carry out DeSantis’s plan. Massachusetts’s governor, Charlie Baker, has stated that the immigrants were provided with temporary shelter. Thankfully in the wake of this turbulent event, the community rallied together to provide relief for the disoriented arrivals. In an interview with NPR, Lisa Belcastro, an official who runs the island’s homeless shelter, stated, “Everything from beds to food to clothing to toothbrushes, toothpaste, blankets, sheets- I mean, we had some of it- but we did not have the numbers that we needed.” The surprise event has left the community undersupplied and with many going without.
With many of the immigrants originating from Venezuela, many spoke little to no English and were left entirely in the dark about the circumstances surrounding their travels or what was going on at all. Local high school students in AP Spanish gathered to try and help serve as translators, helping to answer there, no doubt, many questions. The disastrous affair is even being called human trafficking by people like Joe Scarborough and Hillary Clinton, due to the inhumane transportation of people and objectification of them, in treating them as “political pawns” rather than confused and frightened people.