Speed Reads

cruel and unusual

'Heartless' Ron DeSantis slammed for 'using human beings as pawns for political gain'

Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis (R) may have been trying to "embarrass" President Biden by flying migrants stopped at the southern border to Martha's Vineyard, The Miami Herald editorial board writes, but instead, he showed himself as a "heartless politician" who is using human beings as political pawns.

The migrants arrived in New England on Wednesday night, with DeSantis claiming this was a protest against inadequate security along the southern border. "States like Massachusetts, New York, and California will better facilitate the care of these individuals who they have invited into our country by incentivizing illegal immigration through their designation as 'sanctuary states' and support for the Biden administration's open border policies," the governor said in a statement.

The editorial board described DeSantis' relocation of the migrants as "insulting," and pointed out it was paid for by a state where "hundreds of thousands of immigrants have found refuge since the 1960s and where they have led, and continue to lead, productive lives." The Florida Legislature recently appropriated $12 million to transport undocumented immigrants out of the state.

The migrants are believed to be from Venezuela, and local officials in Martha's Vineyard said the community has rallied together to get them food, water, and shelter. Where they are showing compassion, "DeSantis is using and humiliating vulnerable human beings, people who risked their lives to escape their homeland for America, to make a political point — and further his presidential ambitions," the editorial board writes. "After all, he couldn't buy better press nationwide."

The board said it hopes the backlash against DeSantis "turns into pure outrage" that the state is "using human beings as pawns for political gain," adding that is is "cruel" to put "any human beings in such a predicament." Every immigrant living in Florida "should remember the pain of their first days in America," the board declared. "How heartbreaking it would have been to be used as a pawn by a heartless politician."