In today’s Open Forum, veteran commenter Arthur in Maine writes in part,
I’m sure you’ve all heard about the fact that Ron DeSantis sent two charter planes loaded with illegal aliens to Martha’s Vineyard, which is about 10.5 miles south of me. I find this situation absolutely hilarious on the macro scale. But from an ethics standpoint, it’s more troubling.
1) The Biden administration has been flying illegals to airports all over the country and dumping them off. This, in my view, is unethical (as is the administration’s policy on the southern border). Essentially, DeSantis did the same thing, but that doesn’t make it ethical in return.
2) Conservative media is, in my opinion, overstating the reaction on the left. Unethical. That said, there’s enough pearl clutching on the left to make this all highly entertaining. To me. Which is unethical, and I’m not proud of it, but I never claimed to be perfect.
3) DeSantis’s timing could have been better. Most of the uber-rich limousine liberals with summer homes on the Vineyard head out around Labor Day. Had he done this in August, he actually could have made this a bigger story. Which would, of course, be unethical – but no more so than it already is.
4) The aforementioned pearl-clutchers on the left are calling this a political stunt, using illegal aliens as pawns. That argument is not without merit. But it’s curious that they didn’t seem to care much when the border states were bearing the brunt of hundreds of thousands of illegals by themselves. Which is… unethical.
DeSantis’s move, though it is funnier and more diabolical (can something be ethical and diabolical?), has to be considered in the same category as the busloads of illegals that were sent to the “sanctuary cities” of New York, Washington, D.C., and Chicago. The original idea was the inspiration of Texas Governor Greg Abbott, or a particularly creative advisor.
Your Ethics Alarms Ethics Quiz of the Day is…
Is it unethical for the governors of Texas and Florida to be sending illegal immigrants to ostentatiously progressive destinations?
I think it’s a close question, an ethics final exam-worthy question. From a Golden Rule perspective, I don’t even know how to analyze it. If you were an illegal immigrant, would you rather be stuck in Florida or, as Arthur in Maine describes it, in the richer, more kindly, needy for gardeners and child-care environs of Martha’s Vineyard, where the Obama roam? [ The Babylon Bee: “Martha’s Vineyard Resident Calls Police To Report A Hispanic In The Neighborhood Not Operating A Leaf Blower.”] Clearly Kant would find the tactic unethical: it is using human beings as political pawns and props. But John Stuart Mill? Boy, I don’t know: this sure looks like an example of a societally beneficial trade-off. The hypocrisy of the progressive “open borders” push has been spectacularly exposed: illegal aliens are welcome, as long as they are far, far away. After all Donald Trump’s complaints about illegal immigrants were used as proof that he(and all of his supporters too) was a racist and xenophobic by the Axis of Unethical Conduct, the hysterical reactions of the mayors of NYC, D.C. and Chicago were flaming beacons of self-indictment. (Update: On the Vineyard, Dukes County Emergency Management officials going as far as to declared the arrival of 50 “migrants” a “humanitarian crisis.” Massachusetts has called out the National Guard, 150 strong, of three soldiers for every “undocumented worker.”) The initial reaction of the conservative media was, “Why didn’t anyone think of this earlier?” Good question.
Meanwhile, the “mainstream media” segment of the Axis isn’t quite sure how to play (that is, “distort” or “spin”) this In today’s Times is a clickbait headlined op-ed: “The Martha’s Vineyard Migrant Stunt Is Making One Truth About This Country Clear.” I expected a diatribe about racism and semi-fascists, but no. The piece doesn’t discuss the factors involved in “the stunt” at all. The big truth is that our immigration system is screwed up. Gee, ya think? What an insight! I ran a public policy research project for the U.S. Chamber of Commerce that concluded that 40 years ago.
It’s hard for me to find fault with DeSantis’s statement about the Martha’s Vineyard strategem:
“We are not a sanctuary state, and it’s better to be able to go to a sanctuary jurisdiction, and yes, we will help facilitate that transport for you to be able to go to greener pastures. Every community in America should be sharing in the burdens. It shouldn’t all fall on a handful of red states….We take what’s happening at the southern border very seriously, unlike some, and unlike the President of the United States who has refused to lift the finger to secure that border.”
Or Kamala Harris, who says that the border is “secure.”
It’s especially had to fault DeSantis when Martha’s vineyard residents react like this: