Immigrants as Packages

The aberration began in April. Greg Abbott, Republican governor of Texas, considered it a brilliant political idea to rent buses, fill them with undocumented immigrants and send them to the Democratic states of the north, so that those states would be the ones to deal with the issue. Some immigrants were sent to Washington, D.C., others to New York, Illinois, Massachusetts. Conservatives celebrated the audacity and some dared to copy the maneuver. Doug Ducey, the governor of Arizona, also a Republican, hired more buses, took a handful of immigrants and directed them to the same destinations.

Last Thursday, two busloads of undocumented Latinos arrived at the Washington, D.C., home of Vice President Kamala Harris. They were sent as a sort of cruel message from Texas by Abbott, after the Democrat had given assurances that the borders were secure. If the Democrats are pro-immigrant, let them welcome them, the Republicans repeat in their speeches — a political revenge that requires the suffering of thousands of people.

The last one to join the race was the increasingly popular Ron DeSantis of Florida, a radical, pro-Trump governor, who went a step further. He chartered two private planes and loaded them with 50 undocumented Latin Americans. A couple of hours later, the planes landed on the island of Martha’s Vineyard in Massachusetts. “Florida is not a sanctuary state (as places that protect immigrants are known). It’s better (for immigrants) to go to a sanctuary jurisdiction. … We will help facilitate that transport for you to go to greener pastures,” DeSantis commented with a wry smile.

Once they arrive at the destinations the Republicans have decided for them, the disoriented immigrants ask where they are. On more than one occasion the answer does not match what they were promised when they boarded. They realize they have been turned into human cargo: symbolic packages of a political war. Their lives are manipulated to confront the opposing party. Entire families are separated by this macabre game.

Republicans applaud and make sarcastic comments when they recognize that the rented buses were paid for by money from their own states. Millions of dollars. Their demagoguery knows no bounds. At election time, like this one, anything goes. It’s time to fill seats in the executive and legislative branches. Votes are needed and they will be obtained in any possible way. Whatever the cost. Suffer, whoever suffers.

Democrats denounce the inhumanity of the practice and try to contain the unexpected flow of stray people. The violence of the action is far beyond anything seen before. Nongovernmental organizations dedicated to helping immigrants offer to lend a hand, but they are overwhelmed. The number of undocumented immigrants transported from Republican border states to Democratic states in the north already exceeds 12,000.

It is an up-close view of the most recent deterioration of American democracy —- but surely not the last.

About this publication

About Patricia Simoni 190 Articles
I began contributing to Watching America in 2009 and continue to enjoy working with its dedicated translators and editors. Latin America, where I lived and worked for over four years, is of special interest to me. Presently a retiree, I live in Morgantown, West Virginia, where I enjoy the beauty of this rural state and traditional Appalachian fiddling with friends. Working toward the mission of WA, to help those in the U.S. see ourselves as others see us, gives me a sense of purpose.

Be the first to comment

Leave a Reply