Opinion | How we treat migrants matters


I strongly echo the sentiments in the Sept. 14 Metro article “Advocacy groups urge Fairfax to do more to curb deportations.” The “Trust Policy” adopted countywide in January 2021 prohibiting Fairfax County employees from cooperating with Immigration and Customs Enforcement is a step toward the appropriate protection of immigrants. However, the rate of deportations still remains high.

Since April, Texas Gov. Greg Abbott (R) has forced more than 7,900 migrants on buses to DC and more to other cities as a part of his problematic and inhumane “Operation Lone Star.” As the DC area continues to develop a coordinated and comprehensive response, it is more important than ever to ensure that no matter one’s immigration status, migrants feel comfortable accessing health care or contacting the police without fear of deportation. Taking steps to mitigate racial profiling and further conceal arrest data from ICE as a part of the Trust Policy will ensure increased public safety for all Fairfax residents.

It is crucial that programs such as the Trust Policy are not only strengthened within Fairfax County but also that they are expanded to neighboring counties.

Honor Dearlove, Washington

I live in an area that is desperate for people to work in jobs that most Americans deem lowly. Employers in manufacturing, housekeeping, construction, etc. are looking to hire people who want to work. The states that have too many migrants might want to put out a call for help instead of treating them like cattle. Towns could plan to integrate them into their area with businesses willing to hire them. Then volunteer to help the families who risked their lives for a better life in the United States.

I am afraid politicians are forgetting that they represent people. Treating people who need a better life like cattle and shipping them off without a care for their welfare is not Christian. The population is declining in many states, and immigrants are needed to increase productive capacity , which raises gross domestic product.

If immigration makes the economy larger, more efficient and more productive, what’s the problem?

Andrea Marie Zimmerman, Columbia, Pa.

Tricking about 50 migrants to fly to Martha’s Vineyard, where they were reportedly promised working papers and jobs, illustrating how far Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis and other Republicans have sunk. Their cruel treatment of vulnerable people should be considered when Americans vote in November.

Al Riutort, Newport News, Va.

Aren’t Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis (R) and Texas Gov. Greg Abbott (R) just high-end human traffickers? Shame on these governors — but shame on their states’ senators, too. Shame on Sens. Marco Rubio (R -Fla.) and Ted Cruz (R-Tex.). Where are their bills to improve immigration policy?

We should all expect more from our elected leaders — more decency, more humanity, more suggestions for substantive immigration policy reforms.

Migrants embarking on treacherous journeys to our country deserve to be treated with dignity, at the very least. Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis (R) is willing to use migrants as political pawns to “own the libs.” Texas Gov. Greg Abbott (R ) participated in similar games, sending busloads of migrants to DC and elsewhere, including recently to the residence of Vice President Harris.

It is unfortunate that these governors seem to have no regard for the people they are sending to other states, and it is striking that such action is even legal considering the governors have faced allegations of misleading migrants to get them on the buses and planes. These allegations must be investigated by the proper authorities, and, should they be true, government officials partaking in these harmful political games should face the appropriate consequences. Migrants should not be political pawns.

Chris Affambi, Washington

We should be proud of the political protests that founded and shaped this country, but the recent tactics of Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis (R) and Texas Gov. Greg Abbott (R) are nothing to be proud of.

Their protest is not dumping boxes of tea into a harbor. It is unthinkable that Americans would stand by and let elected officials use human beings as pawns and de facto human shields in a political play. Such acts reek of cowardice.

We are supposed to be the land of hope and dreams. Hopefully, Florida and Texas voters will send these governors on a trip soon. As human beings, let alone as Americans, we deserve better leaders than this.

Ray Graboski, Harleysville, Pa.

Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis (R) had two planeloads of asylum-seeking migrants flown from Texas to Massachusetts. In so doing, Mr. DeSantis proudly declared that Florida was not a “sanctuary state,” which seemed to be a strange declaration coming from the governor of a state that has (justifiably) given sanctuary to hundreds of thousands of native-born Cubans.

However, even if Florida is not a sanctuary state, as Mr. DeSantis believes, the United States, under federal law, is a sanctuary nation. Specifically, the application process of the asylum statute provides that “any alien who is physically present in the United States … irrespective of such alien’s status, may apply for asylum.”

These migrants whom Mr. DeSantis had shipped to Massachusetts are “present in the United States” pursuant to the provisions of our law to apply for the asylum lottery. If politicians do not like this law, which has been on the books for more than 40 years, they should change it. In the meantime, treating these people as political pawns is not a proud moment in our country’s history.

John Maney Jr., Springfield



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