Your School. Your Paper. Since 1936.

The Suffolk Journal

Your School. Your Paper. Since 1936.

The Suffolk Journal

Your School. Your Paper. Since 1936.

The Suffolk Journal

OPINION: Fla. governor owned the libs… by showing our human decency


On Sept. 14, two planes carrying 48 migrants from Venezuela touched down in the summer haven of the liberal elite that is Martha’s Vineyard. The migrants, completely unaware of their location, were sent there on flights from Texas chartered by Florida Governor Ron DeSantis.

DeSantis, a hero of the MAGA-right, intended to show the hypocrisy of the left, because surely these migrants would be met with fear and anger from the island’s wealthy, white liberal residents.

Instead, the residents of Martha’s Vineyard turned out with food, clothes and blankets, eager to show the hospitality of the New England paradise. They set up shelter and made sure their guests were safe until they could be taken to the mainland for a more long-term housing solution.

In an effort to show the cruel hypocrisy of New England liberals, DeSantis instead showed our humanity and our willingness to stick by our principles and help those who need it.

DeSantis, rightfully so, is now facing plenty of flack for his political stunt, from a Texas sheriff looking into possible criminal action against DeSantis to questions about whether DeSantis had the actual authority as governor to use over $600,000 in state funds to move migrants from a different state than his own to another state.

Of course DeSantis has defended his actions as more than just a stunt to embarrass Massachusetts liberals, arguing in a statement that he was actually helping these migrants. “Immigrants have been more than willing to leave Bexar County after being abandoned, homeless and ‘left to fend for themselves.’ Florida gave them an opportunity to seek greener pastures in a sanctuary jurisdiction that offered greater resources for them,” he said.

Shockingly, he has a point. The federal immigration system is a mess with little care or resources given to migrants who enter this country, and no doubt these people will be treated much better in Massachusetts than they would have if they were left in Texas, but don’t think DeSantis is any sort of humanitarian. DeSantis is nothing more than a hack, attempting to gain attention and favor before the 2024 Republican primary.

Additionally, while DeSantis has argued time after time the migrants boarded the flights by choice, attorneys for the migrants have countered, saying they were all told “they would be flown to Boston where they could get expedited work papers”. Instead they were dropped off in the ill-equipped Vineyard, which has fewer than 18,000 residents after the summer.

While some on the right have criticized how the migrants were moved off the island, any rational person could see the preposterous nature of leaving them on the island that in spite of the hospitality and helpful nature of the residents, has no infrastructure for long-term migrant housing.

DeSantis argued that the migrants were leaving a place with no resources, but the fact that he dropped them in the Vineyard and not Boston shows he had no care for these people and merely wanted to make a show, no different from the reverse freedom rides of the civil rights era.

In the end, a cruel – and legally dubious – stunt which saw vulnerable people, legally seeking asylum from a brutal authoritarian regime, used as cannon fodder in DeSantis’s battle for supremacy in the Republican Party backfired and only served to show the humanity of the very people he sought to embarrass.

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About the Contributor
Stephen Merrick
Stephen Merrick, Staff Writer | he/him
Stephen is an undergraduate law major from Marshfield, Massachusetts. In addition to writing for the Journal, he is a member of the Suffolk University Debate team, and was previously the president of the Suffolk University Democrats. In his free time, he enjoys reading, fishing and scuba diving. When Stephen graduates, he hopes to join the United States Coast Guard.

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OPINION: Fla. governor owned the libs… by showing our human decency