Sending Migrants to Blue States Is Moral Abomination | Opinion

The following is a lightly edited transcript of remarks made by Ellis Henican during a Newsweek episode of The Debate about conservative politicians sending undocumented migrants to blue states. You can listen to the podcast here:

This has very little impact politically, because people who are inclined to love it are going to keep loving it. And people like me, who are inclined to hate it, are going to keep hating it. It's a base play in both directions that probably has the effect of pissing off people on both sides — something we don't need. But I don't think it really swings the political needle very much.

Morally, this is an abomination. I mean, the idea of going to poor, defenseless, vulnerable people — here legally, by the way, under our asylum rules — lying to them and tricking them into into this trip where you dump them on an island that they've never heard of, with nothing for them to do, and yank them out of their lives? Pick whichever faith you like, I don't know any faith that would consider that anything other than the morally reprehensible.

Martha's Vineyards migrants Florida Texas
A Texas sheriff is investigating the migrant flights which arrived in Martha's Vineyard last week after being arranged by Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis. In this photo, groups of migrants sit outside the Migrant Resource Center on September 19, 2022 in San Antonio, Texas. Jordan Vonderhaar/Getty Images

To the legal question, I think it's an open question. Does it violate some laws? Yeah, probably. Is it the kind of thing that's really gonna get prosecuted? No. The legal case is part of those other two [issues]; it's a way to play out the political and the moral drama.

If you take a bunch of vulnerable, poor, confused, scared people, and you tell them, "Okay, come on, come this way. We're gonna get you your jobs and you're gonna have training." And we don't mention that we're sending you to a tourist island, at the end of the tourist season, where there are no jobs and there's no bridge and there's no ability for you to operate within your responsibilities as an asylum seeker? You know that's lying… You wouldn't want somebody dealing with your children or to deal with you that way.

Ellis Henican is a New York Times-bestselling author and Pulitzer Prize-winning columnist.

The views expressed in this article are the writer's own.