Will Gov. DeSantis’s political ploy of sending 50 Venezuelan migrants to Martha’s Vineyard cost him votes in South Florida?

The views in this column are solely those of the author and not News Talk Florida

Venezuelan voters in Florida are not fools and Gov.Ron DeSantis sending 50 of their countrymen, women, and children last week to the small, upscale island of Martha’s Vineyard in Massachusetts was cruel and an abuse of his power. All this was done to score political points with his far-right base voters people who could not give a damn about how these people were being used as human pawns in his game of owning the “Libs.”

Let’s be clear these Venezuelan migrants, men, women, and children were not even in Florida they were at the Southern border in Texas where they were lied to by being told jobs, housing, and a future was awaiting them once they landed. All they had to do was to sign a waiver and get on the plane. DeSantis used a state program in which migrants deemed “unauthorized aliens” can be moved “from Florida,” though the governor has acknowledged the flights originated in Texas.

They stopped first in Florida, before going to Martha’s Vineyard, but DeSantis has not emphasized that. Instead, he maintains that the two flights were a legitimate use of funds because the migrants otherwise would have aimed to go to Florida, though he offered no evidence of that and did not say how migrants might have been vetted.

A number of the Venezuelan migrants who boarded the flights told The Associated Press that a woman who approached them at a San Antonio shelter promised jobs and three months of housing in Washington, New York, Philadelphia, and Boston. Not a single politician, locally, in the state of Massachusetts was contacted by Gov. DeSantis or a member of his staff to them a heads up that these Venezuelan migrants were coming.

“When these planes arrived, there were no heads up to the local community at all,” Dylan Fernandes, a democratic Massachusetts State Representative for the island. A White House spokeswoman called it a “political stunt” and said it was “horrific” and “shameful.”

“Think about the governor of Florida, one of the largest states in the nation, spending his time hatching a secret plot to ship up 50 immigrants here, families, children as young as 4, and use them as political pawns just so he could get on Tucker Carlson and beat his chest about how he’s tough on immigration,” Fernandes said.

The governor of Massachusetts is a Republican Charlie Baker and somewhere a member of Gov. DeSantis’s staff might have been able to have found his phone number. The chairman of the National Governors Association is Governor Phil Murphy of New Jersey and if Gov. DeSantis is serious about taking on the problems of issues at the Southern border might be to call for a summit with President Joe Biden to tackle the issues of immigration.

Do we have a serious problem with the number of people flooding the southern border?

Hell, yes we do but for over for nearly 20 years it is an issue that more people want to use as a political talking point and not address the problem. What we need are fewer stunts like Gov. DeSantis and his Texas partner in political theatre Gov. Gregg Abbott to be leaders and not political hacks.

In 2013 under then-President Barack Obama southern border crossings were at a 50-year low. That number grew under President Donald Trump During the Trump administration, the 2019 financial year (running from October 2018 to September 2019) saw more than 800,000 migrants apprehended at the border – the most since 2007.

There has been an increase in that number during President Joe Biden’s term in office and it is time that both sides put on their big boy and girl pants and tackle the immigration problem head-on.

The Biden administration, Congress, and the states need to put political posturing aside and really try to fix the problem because from Bush, to Obama, to Trump and now Biden things have not gotten better. Let’s don’t forget Congress where both Republicans and Democrats have been in charge at times over the past 20 years and the issue remained a problem.

So, stop the theatrics and work together to solve the problem. Talking about issues as easy, as legislation and creating laws is hard but that is what politicians are supposed to do not use poor people as props to score points on Fox News. I would like to think that Gov. DeSantis is better than that and that if he really wants to lead then work with other states and the administration.

Jim Williams is the Washington Bureau Chief, Digital Director as well as the Director of Special Projects for Genesis Communications. He is starting his third year as part of the team. This is Williams 40th year in the media business, and in that time he has served in a number of capacities. He is a seven time Emmy Award winning television producer, director, writer and executive. He has developed four regional sports networks, directed over 2,000 live sporting events including basketball, football, baseball hockey, soccer and even polo to name a few sports. Major events include three Olympic Games, two World Cups, two World Series, six NBA Playoffs, four Stanley Cup Playoffs, four NCAA Men’s National Basketball Championship Tournaments (March Madness), two Super Bowl and over a dozen college bowl games. On the entertainment side Williams was involved s and directed over 500 concerts for Showtime, Pay Per View and MTV Networks.