Was DeSantis' Martha's Vineyard stunt a crime?

The sharpest opinions on the debate from around the web

Ron DeSantis.
(Image credit: Illustrated | Getty Images, Library of Congress)

Texas Gov. Greg Abbott (R) rekindled the debate about illegal immigration over the U.S-Mexico border when he started busing migrants to Washington, D.C., New York City, and Chicago. Arizona Gov. Doug Ducey (R) soon joined in, increasing the heat. The two Republican governors said it was only fair for the Biden administration, Democratic states, and "sanctuary" cities to experience the difficulties they face as border crossings surge. But the attempts to call attention to the border only "reached a fever pitch" when Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis (R) got in on the act with his own "copycat" program, as Vox put it, flying 48 mostly Venezuelan asylum-seekers from San Antonio, Texas, to Martha's Vineyard, Massachusetts.

DeSantis' government said his effort showed how "horribly" the Biden administration has treated migrants, and was "opening people's eyes to the solution, which is let's have a secure border." But he has prompted a massive backlash, with the asylum seekers, Democrats, and migrant advocates accusing DeSantis of duping already vulnerable people to take a cheap shot at President Biden for political gain. A Texas sheriff launched a criminal investigation and the migrants filed a class-action lawsuit, saying DeSantis' effort essentially tricked the asylum seekers with false promises of aid. Some even said the stunt could be seen as human trafficking. Is this just the kind of publicity DeSantis wanted, or could he get more trouble than he bargained for?

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