Republican Governors Shipping Migrants Around the Country Is a Disturbing Attack on the Constitution

Last week, Florida’s governor, Ron DeSantis, paid a private charter company to fly migrants from San Antonio, Texas to Martha’s Vineyard, Massachusetts. As more facts have come to light about how migrants were deceived into taking these flights, one civil lawsuit seeking damages on behalf of the migrants has already been brought against DeSantis. He may also be subject to criminal prosecution.

Politics and elected office aside, it is unlawful to lure people to travel by lying to them about their destination and making false promises about the benefits available upon arrival. But DeSantis’ actions were not merely the conduct of a person hiring a private plane and tricking people into traveling out of state. They were efforts by a Republican red-state governor to protest federal immigration law and policy by shipping migrants to a progressive state in order to create disruption there.
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DeSantis’ flights resemble trips sponsored by other red-state Republican governors this summer. For months, Arizona Gov. Doug Ducey and Texas Gov. Greg Abbott have been hiring buses to take migrants out of their states to Illinois, New York and Washington, D.C. Their avowed purpose, like DeSantis’, was to sow discord and disturbance in liberal states and cities.

President Biden and others have derided these trips, as well as the ones arranged by DeSantis, as “political stunts.” They are more disturbing than that. They are lawless acts, deliberate attempts by some states, acting through their governors, to contravene the basic premise and purpose of the union established by the U.S. Constitution.

States have always had to find ways to coexist even when they have divergent interests or policy preferences. The Constitution itself was adopted to resolve coordination difficulties the states had in matters such as national defense, the conduct of foreign affairs, the creation of a common currency, and financing a national government. The federal courts, also established by the Constitution and further developed by Congress, provide another avenue where states can peacefully and lawfully resolve their differences, adjudicating particular disputes that arise between them. Even before such fights ripen into lawsuits, states, like individuals, sometimes need to negotiate terms of cooperation with one another. There is an established legal mechanism for doing this, called an interstate compact. It, too, is rooted in the United States Constitution, which has been interpreted by federal courts to set ground rules for ensuring such state-to-state agreements have the assent of the federal government.

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Texas, Arizona, and Florida are all already party to numerous interstate compacts, spanning everything from multistate lotteries to water apportionment to child custody and adoption to professional licensing. Had Abbott, Ducey and DeSantis been trying to …read more

Source:: Time – Politics

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