Migrants Are Being Transported Around the U.S. Like Cargo

By Julia Ordaz

The three states that bear the brunt of illegal immigration are Florida, Texas, and Arizona and none of the state’s governors are ecstatic about it. To show their dissatisfaction, Texas governor Greg Abbott, Florida governor Ron DeSantis, and Arizona governor Doug Ducey have been transporting migrants from their state to left-leaning communities. DeSantis claims, “every community in America should be sharing in the burdens.” The three men have successfully created a nation-wide crisis. 

Abbott has bused more than 8,000 migrants to Washington D.C. since April 2022, just two months before the November midterm elections. The political fight has began to intensify. Other Republican leaders are starting to publicly stand with the governors, fundraising to be able to execute more flights. 

The targets of the transportations have been Washington D.C., New York City, Martha’s Vineyard and Chicago. The unannounced arrivals have left the cities scrambling to provide food and shelter. Abbott has sent around 2,500 people to New York City, which has opened 23 emergency shelters so far and is expecting to open many more. The city’s mayor Eric Adams has declared that the shelters are at their “breaking point.” 

Around 50 Venezuelan immigrants from a shelter in San Antonio were shipped to Massachusetts community, Martha’s Vineyard. The local community hurriedly opened shelters and worked to feed the unexpected additions, but Martha’s Vineyard isn’t the destination that the migrants had been promised. 

Pedro Luis Torrealba, who was sent to Martha’s Vineyard, claims that they were told that they’d be sent to New York and given food, shelter, and jobs. Several others described being approached by a woman named “Perla,” and that she offered the most unfortunate ones a chance to begin a life in the U.S. in exchange for signing a document that wasn’t fully translated into Spanish.

Court documents and state records reveal Perla’s recruitment had been carefully planned, with Florida’s examination of Texas’ migrant population weeks before the flights. The documents also revealed that the operations were taxpayer-funded. 

United States Representative, Hakeem Jeffries, has called out the two, saying, “stop behaving like human traffickers.” He has not been the only one to make the comparison, or see the transportation as a violation of civil rights. Civil rights law firm, Lawyers for Civil Rights, and non-profit Alianza Americas are representing the migrants in taking legal action against DeSantis, accusing him of orchestrating a “premeditated, fraudulent, and illegal scheme.” 

Specific houses, not just communities are also on the agenda. Two buses full of people were sent to Vice President, Kamala Harris’, house in Washington D.C. Abbott claimed the credit when he tweeted, “VP Harris claims our border is ‘secure’ & denies the crisis. We’re sending migrants to her backyard to call on the Biden Administration to do its job & secure the border.” 

Harris condemned the act in an interview with Vice News, stating, “They are playing games. These are political stunts with real human beings.” She added, “I think it is the height of irresponsibility, much less, just frankly a dereliction of duty when you are an elected leader, to play those kinds of games with human life and human beings.” 

The consequences of the lawsuits and whether or not the transportations will increase over time remain to be seen. 

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