DeSantis is using the immigrant issue to run in 2024

Ruben Nararrette
Liberal Opinion

Ruben Navarrette

Columnist, host & author
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When Gov. Ron DeSantis arranged for two charter planes to carry 50 migrants from Texas to Martha’s Vineyard, many people wondered why he was meddling in another state’s affairs. Was it a “political stunt” designed to bolster his chances for the Republican party’s presidential nomination in 2024? Or was DeSantis just trying to highlight the hypocrisy of many liberals around this issue? Straight Arrow News contributor Ruben Navarrette explains why he appreciates the point DeSantis was trying to make but abhors the way he went about it.

Neither side, neither political party, gets immigration right. Yes, DeSantis deserves some credit. But he also deserves a much greater share of blame and scorn for the despicable act of using desperate people, including women and children, as political props. 

The migrants who arrived on Martha’s Vineyard were misled and deceived by representatives from DeSantis’ office. They were told that there were jobs waiting for them in Boston. 

Guess what? Had the offer been on the level, it’s likely those people would indeed have found jobs in Boston, because in the age of “quiet quitting” and “the great resignation,” and “help wanted” signs from sea to shining sea, it’s clear that a lot of Americans don’t want to work anymore. But the offer was a lie. See, that’s how DeSantis rolls. That’s how he gets his jollies. 

He finds desperate and downtrodden people, refugees, with nothing more than the clothes on their back and desire to work at jobs that Americans won’t do. Instead of welcoming them and giving them a hand up, he kicks them while they’re down. Such a big man. 

DeSantis pulled this stunt because he wants to be president in 2024. That’s the whole thing. And he thinks immigration is one of the issues that can get them to the White House. 

So what if, as governor, the only borders he really has to worry about are the ones that Florida shares with Georgia and Alabama. That’s what poaching and private jets are for. 

How ironic. DeSantis wanted to show the country what a practical joker he could be and all he did in the end was show the country what he really is. In the words of my friend and former grad school professor, former Wyoming Senator Al Simpson, DeSantis is the south end of a horse headed north.

White liberals, I know the species well. I even have a pet name for them, liberals. They get on my last nerve. They’re sanctimonious and preachy and arrogant. They’re often wrong but never in doubt. That’s because they’re smarter, better and more enlightened than the rest of us. 

See, the rest of us includes Latinos, who now represent one in five Americans. White liberals want to give Latinos like me every right known to man, except the right to think for ourselves. 

When we dare disagree with them and wander off the liberal hacienda, they get downright nasty and mean and personal. 

While white liberals pretend to be pro-immigrant, that’s mostly just a cynical device by which they project their moral superiority over MAGA Republicans and Fox News viewers. As for Latino immigrants themselves, well, these liberals prefer to see them on the household staff, serving cookies and lemonade, as opposed to being served up on a private plane from Texas, chartered by the obnoxious runt bully governor of Florida. 

Having said all that, I do have to admit that Florida Governor Ron DeSantis, the aforementioned obnoxious runt bully, deserves a tiny sliver of credit for smoking liberals out of their holes and putting a spotlight on their hypocrisy over immigration. The lefties on the ritzy island of Martha’s Vineyard claim to support quote, sanctuary policies. 

But the minute that a mere fifty – that’s right, five oh, legal immigrants from Venezuela – arrived on the island courtesy of DeSantis airlines, they freaked and put out the No Vacancy sign. 

They initially greeted the new arrivals with food and donated clothing. 

As proud Democrats, they were not about to give Republicans, who they knew were watching, the satisfaction of seeing them turn away people in need. But nothing lasts forever. And in this case, all that compassion toward the stranger lasted about 48 hours, before these liberals, fearing that their precious and exclusive little island was being, quote overrun, re-gifted the migrants to Cape Cod, putting them on ferries and bidding them adios and buenas suerte. Goodbye and good luck. The irony is thicker than the fog of a Boston Harbor. Thank you, Governor DeSantis. 

Bravo, message received loud and clear. However, that isn’t the whole story. And since this isn’t right wing talk radio or Newsmax, you’re going to hear the whole story – even the part that makes conservatives look just as bad as liberals. Because who are we kidding? 

Neither side, neither political party, gets immigration right. Yes, DeSantis deserves some credit. But he also deserves a much greater share of blame and scorn for the despicable act of using desperate people, including women and children, as political props. 

The migrants who arrived on Martha’s Vineyard were misled and deceived by representatives from DeSantis’ office. They were told that there were jobs waiting for them in Boston. 

Guess what? Had the offer been on the level, it’s likely those people would indeed have found jobs in Boston, because in the age of “quiet quitting” and “the great resignation,” and help wanted signs from sea to shining sea, it’s clear that a lot of Americans don’t want to work anymore. But the offer was a lie. See, that’s how DeSantis rolls. That’s how he gets his jollies. 

He finds desperate and downtrodden people, refugees with nothing more than the clothes on their back and desire to work at jobs that Americans won’t do. Instead of welcoming them and giving them a hand up, he kicks them while they’re down. Such a big man. 

DeSantis pulled this stunt because he wants to be president in 2024. That’s the whole thing. And he thinks immigration is one of the issues that can get them to the White House. 

So what if, as governor, the only borders he really has to worry about are the ones that Florida shares with Georgia and Alabama. That’s what poaching and private jets are for. 

How ironic. DeSantis wanted to show the country what a practical joker he could be. And all he did in the end was show the country what he really is. And in the words of my friend and former grad school professor, former Wyoming Senator Al Simpson, DeSantis is the south end of a horse headed north.


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