When Mr. Trump was president, he suggested a simple solution to the immigration crisis at our southern border. According to Miles Taylor, the former Chief of Staff in the Department of Homeland Security, Trump wanted the immigrants “bused to and dumped in” sanctuary cities throughout Democratic states.
Apparently, his reasoning was that if Democrats were so concerned about the welfare of migrants, they might as well receive the worst of the lot. Trump ordered the DHS to “pick out murderers and drug dealers” and relocate them. Taylor explained that transporting anyone against their will, whether the most violent criminal or an innocent child, might amount to human trafficking. Such an act is a federal offense, but that didn’t bother the president. However, when Taylor sounded the alarm to DHS general counsel, the busing and dumping idea was toast.
The brakes were pumped early in the Trump administration, but the idea of busing and dumping never went away. It laid low until recently when it was embraced by some governors in border states who loaded migrants onto buses and sent them to Washington, D.C., and various cities. The big stink came when Govs. Abbott and DeSantis hatched a plan to fly migrant Venezuelans from San Antonio to Martha’s Vineyard courtesy of Florida taxpayers. This was probably the first time the migrants had been on an airplane. That experience might have been almost as scary or exciting as their flight to an unknown destination.
As I watched them exit the plane, I thought about the thousands of Jews who were told they were being resettled or transferred to labor camps. They were allowed one piece of luggage. As they climbed on or were pushed into cattle cars, they had no idea they were going to the death camps. I’m not comparing the transfer of immigrants to that of the Jews. I’m just saying their level of fear might be comparable. Imagine if someone knocked on your door, told you to stuff a few belongings into a suitcase and get on a truck that would take you to a train station.
Obviously, the brown people being transported are homeless and detained so it’s easy to round them up. Since most don’t speak English, they do as instructed without resistance. Some might be happy to board the bus or plane when told by an interpreter that homes and jobs are waiting for them. Imagine their eagerness to begin a new life in a new country where they’ll be safe from an authoritarian government. Then imagine their frustration and fear when they land on a city street or an airstrip and realize there is no home, no job and no future.
Anyone beyond the age of 4 is aware we have an immigration problem. There are too many people crossing our border. We don’t want them. We don’t have the financial resources to support them. We can’t give them free health care, a nice home, a good job, a new Tesla and a $10,000 pre-paid Visa card. Why don’t they just go home and leave us alone?
Could the answer be, in part, because years ago we “shaped or installed” governments in Latin America which may or may not have led to a better life for the poor? Did our interference in these countries help create the immigration mess we’re in today? I have no idea, but do some Internet poking and you might be surprised at what you find.
— To contact Sharon Kennedy, send her an email at authorsharonkennedy.com. Kennedy's new book, "View from the SideRoad: A Collection of Upper Peninsula Stories," is available from her or Amazon.
This article originally appeared on The Sault News: Sharon Kennedy: Trump’s 'bus and dump' solution to migrants