American Opinion: Shipping of migrants to Martha’s Vineyard shows the rot of our immigration debate

From the editorial: Republicans have made their point. They got the attention they wanted. Now it’s time to engage Democrats to solve the problem. ... And Democrats, you can cover your eyes and pretend the border isn’t a problem. Texans don’t have that luxury, and they will show it at the polls.

A Venezuelan migrant is led onto a bus at St. Andrews Episcopal Church on Friday, Sept. 16, 2022, in Edgartown, Massachusetts, on the island of Martha’s Vineyard.
A Venezuelan migrant is led onto a bus at St. Andrews Episcopal Church on Friday, Sept. 16, 2022, in Edgartown, Massachusetts, on the island of Martha’s Vineyard.
Matias J. Ocner/Miami Herald/TNS
We are part of The Trust Project.

A 27-year-old migrant named Pablo unwittingly shipped to Martha’s Vineyard last week marveled at the speed with which Massachusetts authorities helped him and others who arrived unexpectedly.

American Opinion
American Opinion
Tribune graphic / Forum News Service
More American Opinion:
The Justice Department should ask Cannon to recuse herself, and if she refuses, it should appeal for reassignment of the case.
From the editorial: The right to marry whom you love should not be subject to the whims of an out-of-step conservative court or be left to a patchwork of state regulations. Congress must make the Respect for Marriage Act the law of the land.
From American Opinion editorial: Enter the Anti-Robocall Litigation Task Force, a nationwide effort that’s being made to investigate and take legal action against companies who bring foreign robocalls into the United States. The coalition includes attorneys general from all 50 states.
From the American Opinioin editorial: Late in 2021, U.S. Secretary of the Interior Deb Haaland formally created a process to replace derogatory names of geographic features across the nation. She declared the word “squaw” to be derogatory and ordered a federal panel — called the Board on Geographic Names — to move forward with procedures to remove that word from federal usage.

“It is a great country,” he told the Texas Tribune and the Boston Globe.

What he may not know is that he got caught in a tug-of-war between a political party that sees Pablo as a chess piece and another one that would cover its eyes, ears and mouth to the fact Pablo is in this country at all. Republicans and Democrats want to one-up each other, but neither party seems to actually want to solve the border problem or the mess that is our immigration system.

Texas Gov. Greg Abbott made his point about the overwhelming pressure migration has placed on the state's border communities when he started busing migrants to Democratic-led cities in April. We recognized that the political stunt was accidentally humanitarian, offering hundreds of migrants a safe, free and voluntary trip to destinations that often brought them closer to relatives.

But in the hands of Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis, this stunt has deteriorated. DeSantis took credit for flying migrants from Texas to Martha’s Vineyard, though migrants told reporters they were tricked to get on the plane.


Attorneys for the migrants seeking asylum say they were given a brochure with information about jobs and cash assistance for refugees, according to news reports. A spokeswoman for DeSantis told NBC News that the information wasn’t “fraudulent” because it came directly from the Massachusetts Office for Refugees and Immigrants.

Refugees are different from asylum-seekers under our immigration system. Refugees apply for humanitarian relief outside of the U.S. and arrive here with visas once they’ve been vetted. They receive some federal assistance after their arrival. That’s not the case for migrants who make asylum claims at the border and are admitted pending a decision by the government.

If the DeSantis administration created or approved the brochures, then it betrays ignorance about immigration laws that govern the border. That, or it purposefully deceived migrants. Federal authorities should investigate.

More Opinion:
From the commentary: What difference might it make if instead of imposing the latest fads and trends in our schools and universities, students were taught what matters most ñ honor, integrity, a moral code that has been accepted by most Americans for generations, along with the previously mentioned personal responsibility and accountability for one's actions? But don't people have different views on such things? One might ask how those different views are working out and advise a return to the values that once promoted the general welfare.
The letter writer calls for support of The National Climate Adaptation and Resilience Strategy Act.
The letter writer criticizes the idea of changing the name of Sibley State Park.
The letter writers call for collective effort to address gun violence.
From the editorial: Rep. Katie Porter, D-Calif., introduced a bill last year to prohibit campaign committees from accepting money from lobbyists registered with a foreign country. Considering that dark money represents the easiest and fastest way for Russia and other governments to buy politicians and wreak havoc, Congress should make closing that gap one of its top priorities.
The lack of gun control discussion by Virgnia governor after recent Walmart shooting.
The letter writer celebrates the decade-long government effort to complete the Willmar Wye.
From the commentary: In Michigan, Pennsylvania and Wisconsin, as well as Arizona, voters rejected election-denying candidates for governor. That’s important because it’s up to the governor to certify the election results in his or her state. Refusing to accept the outcome of the 2020 presidential race in the face of incontrovertible evidence showed a willingness on the part of those conniving GOP candidates to subvert future elections they don’t like.
From the commentary: What we need now, along with much more national media coverage, is for some major politicians of both parties to come up with a plan to defeat the scourge of fentanyl — and have the spines to carry it out.
A summary page of recent polls on

The Biden administration could have done something to blunt Republican criticism and acknowledged the border crisis. But even as record numbers of migrants stream across the border, Vice President Kamala Harris told CNN last weekend that the border is secure. It’s unbelievable. And the fact that just 50 or so migrants were bused out of Martha’s Vineyard to a military base within a day echoes Abbott’s point that northern Democratic strongholds really don’t have a clue how serious the border’s migration crisis has become.

And so much for addressing the root causes of migration. El Salvador, once a U.S. ally and a major source of migrants, is going the way of Venezuela, with President Nayib Bukele announcing that he will seek reelection. This is illegal under the Salvadoran constitution. All the response the State Department could muster was a tepid statement about “free and fair elections” that made no mention of Bukele, according to investigative news outlet El Faro.

Republicans have made their point. They got the attention they wanted. Now it’s time to engage Democrats to solve the problem.

And Democrats, you can cover your eyes and pretend the border isn’t a problem. Texans don’t have that luxury, and they will show it at the polls.

This American Opinion editorial is the view of the Dallas Morning News Editorial Board. Send feedback to:

©2022 The Dallas Morning News. Distributed by Tribune Content Agency, LLC.


This story was written by one of our partner news agencies. Forum Communications Company uses content from agencies such as Reuters, Kaiser Health News, Tribune News Service and others to provide a wider range of news to our readers. Learn more about the news services FCC uses here.

What to read next
From the editorial: If you are interested in donating to support the victims of the Club Q shooting, the Colorado Healing Fund has been activated. The donation link is:
From the editorial: It’s time for senators to put aside their differences and show leadership in addressing the fate of Dreamers.
From the editorial: Yet congressional Republicans are already testing the waters for more tax-cutting. You’d think after blaming the Biden administration (with some justification) for making inflation worse by pumping more money into the economy, they would at least see the irony of what they’re proposing, if not its damning precedent.
From the editorial: As a start, any such deal should scrap the idea of time limits; perversely, truncated reviews can actually lead to worse delays by encouraging more lawsuits. Instead, Congress should make it harder to tie up projects with dubious legal proceedings.