Republicans are shipping immigrants an attack on the Constitution

TheLast week, Florida Governor Ron DeSantis paid a private rental company to move immigrants from San Antonio, Texas to Martha’s Vineyard, Massachusetts. As more facts emerge about how immigrants are deceived into making these trips, one civil suit seeking damages on behalf of immigrants has already been filed against DeSantis. He may also be subject to criminal prosecution.

Regardless of politics and elected office, it is illegal to entice people to travel by lying to them about their destination and making false promises about benefits available upon arrival. But DeSantis’ actions weren’t just that of someone chartering a private jet and deceiving people into traveling out of state. It was an effort by a Republican red state governor to protest federal immigration law and policy by shipping immigrants to a progressive country in order to cause unrest there.

DeSantis’ trips are similar to trips other Republican governors sponsored in the red state this summer. For months, Arizona Governor Doug Ducey and Texas Governor Greg Abbott rented buses to take immigrants from their states to Illinois, New York and Washington, D.C. Their stated aim, like DeSantis, was to sow discord and disorder in liberalism. countries and cities.

President Biden and others have derided these trips, as well as those arranged by DeSantis, calling them “political stunts.” They are more disturbing than that. They are lawless acts, deliberate attempts by some states, through their rulers, to violate the basic premise and purpose of the union established by the Constitution of the United States.

Countries have always had to find ways to coexist even when they have divergent interests or political preferences. The Constitution itself was adopted to solve coordination difficulties that states faced in such matters as national defense, the management of foreign affairs, the creation of a common currency, and the financing of a national government. Federal courts, also created by the Constitution and developed by Congress, provide another means by which states can peacefully and legally resolve their differences, and adjudicate certain disputes that arise between them. Even before these fights turn into lawsuits, states, like individuals, sometimes need to negotiate terms of cooperation with each other. There is a well-established legal mechanism for doing this, called the Interstate Agreement. It is also rooted in the United States Constitution, which has been interpreted by federal courts to establish ground rules to ensure that such state-to-state agreements receive approval from the federal government.

Texas, Arizona, and Florida are already parties to many interstate agreements, which include everything from multi-state lotteries to water distribution to child custody and adoption to professional licensing. Had Abbott, Ducey and DeSantis been trying to develop multi-state mechanisms to accommodate asylum seekers and other legal immigrants, they could have contacted their counterparts in other countries to come up with an agreed-upon plan.

Instead, Abbott, Dossey, and now DeSantis chose to ambush the governments of sister nations by surprising them with the arrival of portable buses and planes of immigrants at undisclosed times and places. They have turned down requests from mayors in other states to work together. The buses and planes dispatched by Abbott, Dosey and DeSantis unload their passengers wherever they will get the most press coverage or cause inconvenience and hardship to residents and government responders.

The US Constitution does not expressly prohibit one country from intentionally causing chaos in another. But attempts to do so subvert one of the basic premises of joining together in a legal union: the peaceful and cooperative coexistence of states, as well as between them and the federal government. As state governors, Ducey, Abbott, and Desantis acted unconstitutionally, and even unconstitutionally. While they have not launched armed attacks on other states or the federal government, they have demonstrated a refusal to participate in the fundamental and ambitious design of the American Constitutional Union. This is a step towards separation.

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