Democrats say Republicans sending migrants to blue states could have the opposite effect than the GOP intended the move to have during the midterms.
Rather than putting immigration on the ballot, Democrats believe Republicans relocating migrants to sanctuary cities is adding credence to assertions the GOP has leaned into “MAGA extremism.”
The crux of the issue stems from Republicans sending migrants — including women and children — to unfamiliar cities, promising them better jobs and care if they make the journey. Democrats argue the decision is coming off as cruel, even if they intend to draw attention to a border crisis.
According to Frank Sharry, executive director for America’s voice, an immigration advocacy group, Florida Governor Ron DeSantis and Texas Governor Greg Abbott haven’t put immigration on the ballot. Instead, Sharry asserts what the pair have done is “reinforce the Democrats’ message regarding MAGA extremism.”
Republicans have long used immigration as a tool to fight Democrats in elections, but Democrats believe it will backfire during the midterms.
As Democrats attempt to move the focus away from the economy and inflation, the relocation of migrants, alongside the overturning of Roe v Wade and the FBI raid of former President Donald Trump’s Mar-a-Lago home, have helped the party reframe discussion points in the final stretch to the midterms.
DeSantis’s relocation of Venezuelan asylum seekers to Martha’s Vineyard in Massachusetts is also seen as an opportunity for Democrats in Florida.
Referencing the Martha’s Vineyard case, Rep. Darren Soto (D-Fla.) said, “The moment I read that it was Venezuelan and Colombian refugees, I realized this was an absolute disaster for Governor DeSantis.”
Soto explained, “Not only is it inhumane, but these are two key voting groups in Florida that we are vigorously contesting between the parties.”