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Why Ron DeSantis (And Other Governors) Are Going to War on Immigration

Ron DeSantis
Ron DeSantis. Image Credit: Creative Commons.

Florida Governor Ron DeSantis has become a household name. The former Yale baseball star, Navy JAG, Congressman, and Donald Trump endorsee has emerged as a GOP frontrunner in the 2024 race. Although DeSantis has not yet declared his candidacy – he is commonly understood to be angling toward the presidency.

And he’s angling effectively; DeSantis is the most popular GOP candidate not named Trump – and multiple polls have DeSantis gaining on Trump.

Ron Desantis and That Martha’s Vinyard Situation

DeSantis was highly effective at raising his national profile while dealing with state-level issues in Florida. In combating corporate wokism, in support of the ‘Don’t Say Gay’ Bill, an in flouting COVID orthodoxies, DeSantis became relevant beyond the borders of his Sunshine State. Now, DeSantis is once again making national headlines – for using Florida funds to fly Venezualan immigrants to Martha’s Vineyard, Massachusetts. The ploy is cruel – subjecting dislocated, stressed humans to more travel, turning those dislocated humans into a political prop – and politically clever. Again, DeSantis is latching onto a national issue in a way that signals to conservatives that he does not take any liberal grief. The location of DeSantis’s immigrant drop-off – Martha’s Vineyard – was also tactical; Martha’s Vineyard is basically the central hub of liberal elites on the east coast. The type of place for liberals who say they believe in open borders because “No Human Is Illegal” when it’s just about being able to hire someone to clean toilets for minimum wage.

Now, however, other governors are seizing – or creating – the opportunity to be relevant on the national stage, ala Ron DeSantis.

J.B. Pritzker Is Also Talking Immigration 

“In Illinois, Democratic Governor J.B. Pritzker issued an emergency declaration to grapple with nearly 500 immigrants bused to Chicago…mobilizing the state’s National Guard.” Natasha Korecki and Marc Caputo reported for NBC. And who bussed those 500 immigrants to Chicago? Texas Governor Greg Abbott. Pritzker called Abbott’s actions “disgusting” while also expediting housing, food and medical assistance for the newly arrived immigrants. “Pritzker repeatedly condemned Abbott, calling him and his office “wholly uncooperative.””

“The Governor of the state of Texas is choosing not to notify us when he is sending busloads of families – we don’t know how many are children or what they need before they arrive,” Pritzker tweeted. “Here in Illinois, we refuse to stoop to that man’s level. We will provide food, shelter, and healthcare for the children, women, and men that need it.” 

Abbott, for his part, “who is also positioning himself for a potential 2024 bid if former President Donald Trump doesn’t run, pioneered the relocation of migrants to blue state “sanctuary” cities and regions, noting that “those who support Biden’s immigration policies should bear some of the cost.”

“Not to be outdone, California Gov. Gavin Newsom, also a Democrat, entered the fray Wednesday, calling for the Justice Department to investigate DeSantis and Abbott for their actions,” Korecki and Caputo reported. “The way these prominent governors, at opposite ends of the political spectrum, are responding to the country’s immigration crisis has elevated their national profiles in their parties at the same time it’s boosting their positioning for potential White House runs in 2024.” 

DeSantis’s success in achieving national prominence has other governors not just following the DeSantis blueprint – but also going after DeSantis directly as an opportunity to engage in a high-profile conflict. “Newsom and Pritzker have tried to pick fights with [DeSantis] in recent months, with Pritzker going so far as to headline Florida Democrats’ annual gala in July, when he won accolades for the party faithful for taking their bete noire to task.”    

The viability of the nation’s governors for presidential office depends largely on whether Biden or Trump decides to run in 2024. If either Biden or Trump opt-out, expect the nation’s governors to compete in a mad dash, jockeying amongst themselves to achieve national prominence. 

Harrison Kass is the Senior Editor at 19FortyFive. An attorney, pilot, guitarist, and minor pro hockey player, he joined the US Air Force as a Pilot Trainee but was medically discharged. Harrison holds a BA from Lake Forest College, a JD from the University of Oregon, and an MA from New York University. He lives in Oregon and listens to Dokken. Follow him on Twitter @harrison_kass.

Written By

Harrison Kass is a Senior Defense Editor at 19FortyFive. An attorney, pilot, guitarist, and minor pro hockey player, he joined the US Air Force as a Pilot Trainee but was medically discharged. Harrison has degrees from Lake Forest College, the University of Oregon School of Law, and New York University’s Graduate School of Arts & Sciences. He lives in Oregon and regularly listens to Dokken.



  1. Dr. Scooter Van Neuter

    September 16, 2022 at 2:27 pm

    As Arizona residents, we live with the massive influx of illiterate, untrained individuals who have so negatively impacted our social services, insurance rates, hospital care and costs, crime rates, prison capacities, and employment opportunities. It’s obvious why border states are fighting this administration’s disastrous, destructive open borders policy.

  2. Brian

    September 16, 2022 at 5:34 pm

    First of all it’s not “don’t say gay” bill. Quit acting like a Leftist. Also, while I don’t agree with sending illegals into the country. If this corrupt, inept regime won’t do anything. Then, I’m all for showing Leftist what frauds they are. They’re the real bigots, racist, etc ,etc,etc. We should shove this sh#t right into their faces, make them eat it. Funny, you haven’t had a problem with this regime flying illegals in the middle of the night, for years?

  3. Yrral

    September 16, 2022 at 8:47 pm

    The state of Massachusetts is process of opening a criminal investigation into the smuggling of undocumented immigrants to Massachusetts by Desantis Google Massachusetts Undocumented Alien Florida

  4. Hola

    September 16, 2022 at 11:17 pm

    DeSantis is a culture warrior and an asshole for treating immigrants like chattel for political gains. He is willing to exploit any small group of bigots to his advantage. Like Trump, only a bit brighter.

  5. GhostTomahawk

    September 17, 2022 at 12:56 am

    WRONG. Stop spewing Democrat talking points

    The Biden “administration*” has been flying the illegals its been inviting into our country all over in the middle of the night for the last year. So stop with your stupidity. DeSantis has these people sign waivers. They know where they’re going. Their going to a sanctuary city.

    These elitist city states are talking big but not delivering. Meanwhile border states bear the tsunami of illegals the woketard left is pied pipering into our nation FOR THEIR POLITICAL PLOY to codify their power forever using illegals as their tools.

    So until people are honest about immigration and why it’s an issue that’s unresolved spare me the 50 to Martha’s Vineyard sob story. More people illegally enter Del Rio Texas monthly than LIVE IN Del Rio Texas.
    El Paso, a Democrat city busses people out all the time I dont hear you whining about that Kass.

    Face it. Immigration is a Democrat disaster because it was mitigated before and now it’s an unmitigated disaster… like the economy, our energy sector, foreign policy and our logistics. All were just fine until Biden came along with morons like you who brought him to us instead of shopping him off to the crypt keeper where he belonged.

  6. Scottfs

    September 17, 2022 at 3:59 pm

    As an arden environmentalist and lover of animals and nature, this mass invasion is infuriating. Democrats could not care less about animals, the environment, wild places, any of it.

    California has pledged to return to carbon levels of 1990, all while bringing in 25 million illegals.

    F—ing hypocrites!!!

  7. Old Desert Coyote

    September 17, 2022 at 4:07 pm

    I am all for opening criminal investigations of De Santis. The next ploy of De Santis should be the early release of non-violent prisoners from prison if they agree to be sent to New York, Chicago, Boston, San Francisco and Las Angles (where they love their non violent Criminals) and not come back.

    Just think how glorious it will be when De Santis (and the Florida legislature) refuse to recognize the validity of Massachusetts, New York, and Californiain drivers license’s and Vehicle registrations (along with license plates) Just think of all the fines for driving with out a license and the confiscation of Vehicles that can be sold off at Auctions.

    Lets not rule out the banning sale of agricultural produce to be sold in those states and the banning of transport of products to those states within the territory of Florida, Texas and Arizona. borders. Lets not leave out the banning of oil and refined petroleum products to those afor mentioned states. The Next civil war does not have to be a shooting war, an economic war would be more effective.

  8. Rick

    September 18, 2022 at 10:45 am


    Have you considered that Florida’s economy is dependent of tourism? 14% of employment and 15% of the state’s tax revenues come from tourists.

    That being said you seem to have given this a great deal of thought. I’m truly sorry for your inclinations and emotional dedication to crazy.

  9. fred skolnick

    September 18, 2022 at 12:15 pm

    Correction…Gov Desantis has nothing against Legal Immigration. Call Bidet’s Fiasco what it is…an INVASION. Are Tax Payer Dollars are being used to support these Illegal Invaders. This is nothing short of Treason. Bidet and The Leftocrats should be indicted for this!

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