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Caravans 2.0

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As Republicans Lose Political Momentum, DeSantis and Fellow Republicans Seek to Divide and Distract with Nativism

Washington, DC – Yesterday, Florida Governor Ron DeSantis chartered a plane at taxpayer expense to transport Venezuelan refugees to Martha’s Vineyard. Notably, they sent a videographer to document the arrivals for Fox News, but gave no notice to anyone in Massachusetts. Not to be outdone, Texas Governor Greg Abbott sent two buses from Texas that arrived this morning outside the Naval Observatory residence of Vice President Kamala Harris.

The competition between GOP Governors DeSantis of Florida, Abbott of Texas and Doug Ducey of Arizona is as cruel as it is silly. These stunts, where brown refugees are sent to places where Black Democrats work and live, thrill the rightwing and appall the majority of Americans. Why talk about inflation, jobs, abortion, climate change, gun violence and health care when you can pull stunts that shift the discussion?

The racist stunts, including news that the DeSantis team potentially lied to migrants about where they were heading and refused to alert local authorities in advance, underscores the cruelty, dehumanization and cynicism on display from Republicans.

The following is a statement from Vanessa Cárdenas, Deputy Director of America’s Voice:

“Let’s call it what is. This is caravans 2.0. 

As the momentum in the 2022 midterms shifts to Democrats, Republicans are manufacturing their own migrant caravans in a desperate attempt to push immigration into the national headlines. When Republicans are in trouble, they resort to divide-and-distract ploys to trill the base and cause outrage from the majority. 

Their hope is to score points on Fox and distract from the Republican decline in the 2022 polls. Ron DeSantis and Greg Abbott are competing to get MAGA-world kudos for ‘owning the libs.’ In the process they are underscoring to the rest of the electorate how cruel, dehumanizing and transparently political their motivations are. 

The caravan stunts were a loser in 2018. The multiracial majority soundly rejected MAGA’s extremism, divisiveness and lack of solutions on the top issues of the day. Democrats won by 9%, the largest victory margin in midterm history. Despite this, Republicans are looking at the polls and rolling the dice, hoping that the same strategy that backfired spectacularly in 2018 will produce a different outcome in 2022. It won’t.”