Governors set sights on 2024 with buses of migrants caught in the middle

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After driving two planeloads of migrants to Martha’s Vineyard, Massachusetts, Florida Gov., Ron DeSantis’ administration made sure Fox News had Wednesday’s special video so conservatives could cheer him up — and liberals fuming. Will get up

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A day earlier in Illinois, Democratic Governor JB Pritzker issued an emergency declaration after Republican Texas Governor Greg Abbott scuffled around 500 migrants headed to Chicago, standing before the media for calling Abbott’s actions “disgusting”. After that the state’s National Guard was mobilized. ,

Shouldn’t move forward, California Gov. Gavin Newsom, also a Democrat, landed on WednesdayCalled for the Justice Department to investigate DeSantis and Abbott for their actions.

Immigrants gather with their belongings outside St Andrew’s Episcopal Church on Martha’s Vineyard on Wednesday in Edgartown, Mass.AP. via Ray Ewing / The Vineyard Gazette

way These prominent governors, on the opposite end of the political spectrum, are responding to the country’s immigration crisis, raising their national profiles across their parties, as well as positioning them for a possible White House run in 2024. If everything goes well.

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And with less than two months to go until the midterm election, Republican governors have also managed to insert an issue into the national conversation that mobilizes the party’s base at a time when they are trying to change the topic from abortion rights. Happily, a topic that has helped Democrats make a profit.

Abbott, DeSantis, Pritzker and Newsom are running for re-election, but insiders from both parties say it is clear that the 2024 White House run is likely running in the background as the immigrant debate boils over nationally. Is.

DeSantis sends migrants to Martha’s Vineyard to protest Biden’s border policies

September 15, 202202:52

“Remember, there are two campaigns for DeSantis: president and governor. This was for the presidential campaign,” said former Representative Carlos Curbello, a moderate Republican from Miami.

“DeSantis’s gubernatorial campaign doesn’t have much to gain,” Curbelo said. “He probably calculated that there isn’t much to lose.”

As DeSantis gains national prominence, Newsom and Pritzker have tried to feud with him in recent months, with Pritzker going so far as to headline the Florida Democrats’ annual gala in July, when he won the party. Won praise from loyal people. Noir for the task.

For Pritzker, immigrant arrival is as much a test of how he performs in a politically unstable situation as it is an opportunity to elevate himself as an antidote to DeSantis and Abbott, whom Democratic voters cast as GOP villains. I see.

Image: JB Pritzker
Illinois Gov. JB Pritzker addresses reporters in Springfield on April 7.John O’Connor / AP File

Bill Hoolihan, a veteran Democratic strategist, said, “These are moments when Democratic primary voters, when it comes to the president, are going to see what kind of heart the candidate has, what kind of follow-up the candidate has.” Thru.” Dick Durbin’s former aide, D-Ill.

For any future Pritzker presidency, he said, “that’s a big plus.”

“It’s a story you can talk about in people’s living rooms and small gymnasiums because you’re campaigning for president in those early primary states,” he said.

Declaring a state of emergency, Pritzker expedited housing, food and medical aid for the new arrivals, activating the National Guard. After the bus arrived in Chicago, Pritzker repeatedly denounced Abbott, calling him and his office “completely uncooperative”, and accusing Republicans of “trying to sow chaos across the country”.

“The governor of the state of Texas is choosing not to inform us when he is sending busloads of families — we don’t know how many kids they have or what they need before they arrive,” Pritzker wrote in a Twitter thread on Wednesday, “Here in Illinois, we refuse to fall to the level of that man. We will provide food, shelter and healthcare for the children, women and men who need it.”

And Newsom’s move is his latest attempt to step into the national spotlight. This includes running ads in Florida and Texas attacking their restrictive abortion laws and celebrating Californians’ access to abortion.

Image: Gavin Newsom
California Governor Gavin Newsom speaks to reporters after a meeting with House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., at the US Capitol on July 15.Tom Williams / CQ Roll Call via AP File

From legislation on race and sexual orientation to COVID policy, DeSantis has built a national political brand that fights with Democrats and is designed to anger and thrill his base.

DeSantis calibrated the $12 million immigrant relocation program for maximum trolling effect: It used funds from the federal COVID Relief Fund, and his administration deliberately chose an island “sanctuary city” as its first destination, the former president He was associated with elite Democrats, including Barack Obama.

In brief remarks to Florida journalists, DeSantis suggested that the immigrants came from Florida (although news report has been suggested Maybe at least some came from Texas). And he made it clear who his targets were: President Joe Biden and the Blue State Democrats who support his policies.

Before turning his attention to people in Washington, D.C., New York and other “sanctuary cities,” DeSantis said, “We take what’s happening on the Southern Frontier very seriously—unlike some and the President of the United States. Unlike the.”

“In the border towns where even a small fraction of them are brought before them every day, they suddenly go crazy,” he said. “And they’re so upset that this is happening. And it just shows, you know, their virtue-sign is a hoax. OK?”

Abbott, who is positioning himself for a possible 2024 bid if former President Donald Trump does not run, has pioneered the relocation of migrants to Blue State “sanctuary” cities and areas. Like DeSantis, Abbott has said that those who support Biden’s immigration policies should bear some of the cost, which is causing trouble to Democratic officials in New York and, most recently, Chicago.

René Eze, a spokesman for Abbott, said their program is entirely voluntary: migrants are given information about potential destination cities, and they must sign a disclosure form acknowledging that they will be allowed to travel to northern cities by bus. The details of the ride have been informed.

“Our office has spoken with Governor DeSantis and his team to support our bus strategy to provide much-needed relief to our overwhelmed and border communities,” Eze said in a written statement. “While we were not involved in these initial planes from Martha’s Vineyard, we appreciate the support and help Texans have in responding to this national crisis.”

According to news reports, most of the migrants brought to the island were from Venezuela, a small but growing block of voters in Florida for which Republicans and Democrats are fighting, especially in Miami.

Juan Escalante, a Venezuelan-born immigration rights advocate from Florida, swiped at DeSantis because “the same governor who declared Florida a ‘victim of Communism Day'” is the same person who “uses Venezuelan asylum-seekers for his support.” serving as a support.” political image. ,

In an interview, Illinois Deputy Governor Sol Flores predicted that if Republicans are out to score political points, it will backfire.

“It’s deliberately disorganized. Creating a panicky and unsafe situation is what he’s doing,” Flores said.

Martha’s Vineyard The community immediately rallied to help migrants, pushing back against Republicans’ belief that it would not welcome the undecided.

Democratic Rep. Chuy García, who represents Chicago in Congress, also took issue with the Venezuelan behavior of Republicans, whom he said constitutes a large proportion of those arriving in Chicago.

García, referring to President Nicolas Maduro, said, “For the past three, four years, Republicans have portrayed themselves as champions of those who have left Venezuela because of the political conflict in that country and Maduro’s presidency. ” “To do so is to do a total face and only engage in deception.”

But Republican Carolina Amesti, a Republican nominee for the Florida House who would be the first Venezuelan American to serve in the chamber if elected, stood with DeSantis.

“We must secure our border,” she said. “We must protect the security of our state, and our governor is protecting our state.”

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