On September 15, two planes landed in Martha’s Vineyard, Massachusetts. Onboard were 50 undocumented migrants from Venezuela looking to find refuge. This event follows similar stories of migrants transported from overwhelmed border towns to sanctuary cities in the country. Many condemned the action as a horrific example of using people as political pawns to make a point. One wonders how horrific it would be to get off a plane on a beautiful island in the Atlantic compared to the horrors of a despotic government in Venezuela or an overcrowded border town facility. Fortunately, the residents of Martha’s Vineyard rose to the occasion and provided aid to the migrants. We commend them for their charity.
As Catholics we care for those who are immigrants and refugees. So, we should be upset that migrants are being used to convey a political message. Likewise, we should also be upset that it took this long for anyone to notice the problems at the border. Where was the horror a year ago? While New York, Chicago and Washington, D.C., struggle to support several thousand migrants over the course of a few months, towns like McAllen, Texas, deal with 11,000 migrants a week. Long before GOP governors transporting migrants made the news, the federal government transported migrants to small cities and towns throughout the US (often with less social services than cities like New York).
Declaring oneself a sanctuary city or chartering flights of migrants to them won’t solve the problem of immigration here in this country. Those on the left and the right need to stop these political antics and do their job enacting legislation that fixes the border crisis.