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The Martha’s Vineyard Miracle: How Ron DeSantis Turned Liberals Against Mass Migration

The opinions expressed by columnists are their own and do not necessarily represent the views of
AP Photo/Rebecca Blackwell

Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis pulled off a miracle this month: He forced leftist elites to condemn the crisis at the U.S.-Mexico border.

In a shrewd move, DeSantis flew 50 illegal aliens to the liberal enclave of Martha’s Vineyard in Massachusetts to bring the border crisis home to many of its patrons. The reaction from the left to DeSantis’ move was apoplectic. Liberals and anti-border activists raged against the move, claiming without evidence that DeSantis somehow had tricked the illegal aliens into taking the flight to the Vineyard. 


DeSantis has been baselessly accused of “human trafficking,” with some activists demanding that he be jailed over the migrant flights. In reality, the illegal aliens were required to sign consent forms to board the flights. Telemundo reporter Cristina Londono told MSNBC that the migrants were thankful that DeSantis relocated them to a nice part of the country. 

"Instead of hurting us, they did us a favor, so I'm not complaining," one migrant reportedly told Londono.

By all accounts, the migrants were grateful to DeSantis for the free trip to one of America’s most posh vacation spots. But the elitist residents were upset, so they are now trying to get law enforcement involved to ensure their paradise continues to be walled off from the crisis they created. 

In San Antonio, they found a woke sheriff willing to comply. Bexar County, Texas, Sheriff Javier Salazar announced in September that he was opening an investigation into DeSantis and the migrant flights his administration organized. Salazar suggested that the illegal aliens had been “preyed upon” but did not mention any criminal violation DeSantis may be guilty of. Salazar has a lengthy history of anti-borders activism and involvement in left-wing politics. He has blamed Texas Gov. Greg Abbott for the border crisis instead of Joe Biden, whose campaign bus he appeared on leading up to the 2020 election. 

DeSantis fired back at the sheriff by noting that he appeared more outraged about Martha’s Vineyard ordeal than he did about the deaths of 53 migrants attempting to cross the border earlier this year illegally. This investigation is unlikely to go anywhere as it is completely without merit. Salazar’s investigation aims to chill and intimidate future efforts to relocate illegal aliens in wealthy, leftist enclaves. But, DeSantis has refused to be intimidated. He’s suggested that more migrant flights are in the works.


"There's also going to be buses, and there will likely be more flights," DeSantis said.

It’s worth noting that there were no accusations of human trafficking or calls for criminal investigation when the Biden Administration resettled illegal aliens across the country through secretive, nighttime flights. Neither Arizona Gov. Doug Ducey nor Texas Gov. Greg Abbott triggered a fraction of the Martha’s Vineyard outrage when they bussed illegal aliens to liberal cities, including New York and Chicago, which they have been doing for months. 

Those stories barely registered a blip on the national radar. But, DeSantis’ migrant flights were different. DeSantis torched a sacred cow by flying illegal aliens to Martha’s Vineyard. They proved that not even the most sanctimonious elites are equipped to handle the effects of mass migration within their community.

The illegal aliens were shipped off the island onto a military base less than 48 hours after their arrival, despite plenty of available space on the island. The Martha’s Vineyard residents and their ilk want an open border, but they want the migrants who flow through it to be out of sight and out of mind. As long as their preferred anti-border policies are ravaging small towns in Texas that they will never visit, they do not care. The only way to get them to care is by bringing the crisis to their doorstep. 

This is why DeSantis must continue to fly illegal aliens to wealthy enclaves and why other governors must join him in this effort. Anti-border elites have refused to see the light. Now it’s time to make them feel the heat.


William Davis is a communications associate for the Immigration Reform Law Institute, a public interest law firm working to defend the rights and interests of the American people from the negative effects of mass migration.


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