The Patriot Post® · Two Million Pawns

By Jack DeVine ·

America’s partisan war on illegal immigration (one of way too many partisan wars in this country) just keeps lurching ahead.

The latest salvos have been fired by GOP Governors Greg Abbott (TX), Doug Ducey (AZ), and Ron DeSantis (FL), who have been carrying the brunt of the illegal migrant flood. Together, they’ve sent about 13,000 undocumented migrants by bus and airplane to Democrat-run “sanctuary” destinations including Washington, DC, New York City, Chicago, and even the elite liberal haven of Martha’s Vineyard.

Transporting illegal migrants away from border areas is really nothing new — DHS has been doing so regularly, although quietly, and without broadcasting the numbers and locations. By contrast, the GOP governors’ actions have been widely publicized and clearly intended to highlight the hypocrisy of those who support open borders but shirk the consequences.

Not surprisingly, Democrats reacted with sputtering indignation, accusing Republicans of making the immigration problem worse and using desperate human beings as political pawns. Chicago Mayor Lori Lightfoot characterized Abbott’s action as “racist” and “without any shame or humanity.” DC Mayor Muriel Bowser declared the onslaught to be a public emergency and demanded National Guard support. NYC Mayor Eric Adams expressed concerns that New York’s shelters are “at the breaking point.”

Martha’s Vineyard managed to offload all of the unexpected visitors within 48 hours — engaging the help of 125 National Guard troops to transport them to Joint Base Cape Cod, a U.S. military facility on the mainland.

And at the height of absurdity, left-side critics — including Hillary Clinton and California Governor Gavin Newsom — argue that the relocation of migrants to other cities is essentially “kidnapping” or “human trafficking” on the basis that the migrants were sent to those sanctuaries with unrealistic expectations and that those locations had not been the migrants’ intended destinations.

Let that sink in. Suppose that you own a spacious home, that intruders break in, and that in a fit of extraordinary generosity you allow them to stay — but that you also require (i.e., “force”) them to remain in the guest wing of your home. Does that sound like kidnapping?

But okay, the Democrats have a point. The Abbott/Ducey/DeSantis actions were in fact political, flagrantly so. Transporting illegals to progressive strongholds won’t solve our border crisis — but neither will the crisis be solved if we ignore it and allow it to fester, as has been this administration’s policy for nearly two years.

So, before we get too worked up about treating undocumented migrants as props in the political war between Left and Right, let’s take a collective deep breath and try to look at the problem objectively.

Our southern border has been wide open since Day One of the Biden administration, per Biden’s executive order proclaiming “Termination of the Emergency at the Southern Border” — inexplicable, but fully consistent with his campaign promises and loudly praised by his supporters. We now are watching the unfolding consequences of his conscious policy decision, and it is completely reasonable for us all — Left and Right — to examine how that’s working out for us.

The answer is that it’s not working out well at all. Just last week, Vice President Kamala Harris pronounced the border to be “secure,” but it is obviously not. So far, under the current administration’s policies, at least two million additional undocumented migrants roam freely in our country, including well over one million who have been apprehended at the border and then allowed (supposedly temporarily) to remain here, along with a comparable number who have evaded apprehension altogether.

For context, two million is more than the population of at least half a dozen U.S. states. It is a low estimate given the nearly one million more “gotaways” and then countless others never encountered, and the total goes up every day.

It’s fair to assume that most of these illegal entrants are people who simply aspire to a better life. But we don’t really know who they are or why they’re here, and we have no basis whatsoever to assume that there are no terrorists or dangerous criminals among them. Moreover, the overwhelming problem of U.S. drug addiction (primarily to imported fentanyl) is clearly linked to our porous border. It’s a mess.

Yes, busloads of migrants showing up unannounced in DC and New York place a heavy burden on the residents of those cities. But the number transported so far constitute much less that 1% of the additional millions of unvetted migrants dropped into the laps of Texas, Arizona, Florida, and other states that didn’t ask for them.

The gambit of Governors Abbott, Ducey, and DeSantis, heavy-handed or not, has shined the light on a massive American issue that we’ve been studiously ignoring for the past two years. Good.