Samir Mehta | September 18, 2022
[hidden by request]

Steve West | September 18, 2022
What cruel actions. These are human beings not little toy soldiers. This is a crime (literally and figuratively).

Scott Hardie | September 18, 2022
1. YES. Florida has no state income tax, but it has a sales tax and property tax and other taxes that I pay, and I am outraged that my money is being used on dumb political stunts like this when this state has important things to pay for.

2. It's solely a political stunt -- the more he takes big splashy actions like this to criticize Washington and "elites" for failing to solve the migrant "crisis," the more the red voters love him. (Not to mention, the more that he outrages the blue voters like me, the more the red voters love him.) DeSantis was just cheered for saying he'd keep doing it.

There is a valid criticism to make, which is that the powers that be have taken way, way too long to solve this problem. Our refugee system (courts, housing, all of it) is set up to handle about 30,000 migrants per year who seek asylum, but recent swells over the last decade have gotten that number up to about 650,000 applicants per year, so there's currently a backlog of something like six years per person to get a hearing and it's rapidly growing. Trump wanted to keep the asylum seekers on the Mexican side of the border to ease the burden internally, but Biden's not doing that, so border states like Texas are taking in many more migrants who are just free on the streets, living here indefinitely until they get a hearing that they may not even attend if they moved elsewhere in the U.S. years earlier. And that leads to a compounding effect, because migrants who don't qualify for asylum simply ask for it anyway and get to live in the U.S. for years before the system finally processes and rejects their request, instead of days or weeks like would have happened in the past. Conservatives and liberals can disagree about how much of a burden these people create simply by being here, but either way it's clear that Congress has failed either to rapidly scale up the system to handle the number of applications or to streamline the legal process so that each case doesn't take so long. The political stunts with migrants are borne out of that frustration (among other lesser factors like xenophobia), but the fact that they've been directed solely at Democrats so far is telling.

3. Expediency. It was all outsourced to a company that donated to Florida politicians, if those links are to be believed. They'll do the work where it's cheapest, and since Texas is already doing this, it's ideal.

4. No, this does not have any material benefit for Floridians, and in fact costs us quite a bit. It's just a political stunt, and its symbolic benefit depends on how much you agree with DeSantis about the urgency of the problem and who is causing it.

The last time that I criticized DeSantis here, I said that he had a fascistic tendency to use his office to crush any public opposition to him, and I was shocked and saddened that his followers like this about him instead of recognizing it as evil, corrupt, and antithetical to our claimed values as a nation. So here's where I point out that DeSantis doing this to migrants is pretty much the polar opposite of what Christianity teaches us about suffering migrants and what Jesus told his followers to do for the poor, needy, and itinerant -- and the fact that his followers cheer it on is yet another sign (to me at least) that political affiliation is now the only "principle" that matters, and that formerly meaningful moral guides like religion and nation have become inconveniences to be ignored when they conflict.

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