Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis on Wednesday flew two planes of immigrants to Martha's Vineyard, escalating a tactic by Republican governors to draw attention to what they consider to be the Biden administration's failed border policies.
Some depict the actions as inhumanely exploiting vulnerable people for political ends, while others say it’s a harmless way of calling attention to the impact of immigration on states near the southern border.
“Playing political games scores points — and the hypocrisy of the current immigration system is easy to point out,” Ed Stetzer, a professor, dean and executive director of the Wheaton College Billy Graham Center in Illinois, said in a statement.
“However, it does not solve the actual problems. … Let’s fix the system,” he added, “and stop turning people into pawns of political one-upmanship.”
“Government officials who refuse to fulfill their biblical responsibility to protect our borders should be made to feel the effects of their lawless policies,” Jeffress said via email.
“Busing illegal migrants to Washington D.C. or Martha’s Vineyard is not exactly the same as sending them to Siberia,” he continued. “Most Americans would love the opportunity to visit either destination.”
Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis flew immigrants on two planes to the upscale island of Martha’s Vineyard in Massachusetts on Wednesday, while Texas Gov. Greg Abbott has also dispatched migrants to cities with Democratic mayors. Most recently, on Thursday, two busloads from his state disembarked near Vice President Kamala Harris’ residence in Washington. Arizona Gov. Doug Ducey also has adopted the policy.
The Republican governors are trying to draw attention to what they contend is failed border policy under the Biden administration.
Brent Leatherwood, president of the Southern Baptist Convention’s public policy agency, the Ethics and Religious Liberty Commission, said such actions “seem to be more about public relations.”
“We have called long for strengthened border protections and at the same time (for) folks who are coming into this country to be treated in a way that respects the imago dei (image of God),” he said.
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