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Border Needs To Be Stronger – And Smarter, Too

If Ron DeSantis and Greg Abbott, the respective governors of Florida and Texas, wanted to call attention to the failures and frustration of our immigration policies, then they’ve succeeded.

But if their flights and buses of immigrants from border states to New England, Delaware and other northeastern enclaves wanted more specifically to make the case that our immigration system is too open, too accommodating of immigrants, then they’ve failed.

While much of the conversation, driven by partisan pundits, has dwelt on whether DeSantis and Abbott are cruel and manipulative or whether the residents of upscale neighborhoods beset by plane-loads or bus-loads of immigrants are hypocritical, what must be noted are the immigrants themselves.

Set aside the character of DeSantis and Abbott. Set aside the character of the residents of Martha’s Vineyard. Observe instead that there is every indication that the majority of these immigrants — how overwhelming a majority time will tell — are not fentanyl traffickers or gang members or “coyotes” involved in operations to smuggle exploited people across the border.

They are not hiding in the shadows. They got on and off government-sponsored planes and buses as the national media filmed them.

Because they are families. They are people willing to work, and to work with the government to determine legal status for themselves so that they can pursue better lives for themselves and their children.

And having the federal government manage a series of hoops for them to jump through to have such opportunities only diverts resources away from better enforcement of border security in the cases where it truly matters.

We believe we need better border security. We believe we need more staffing for border patrol and stronger efforts to identify those who threaten our way of life and to prevent their entry into the U.S.

But we also believe we need smarter immigration policies. We need to streamline legal immigration so that it isn’t a time-consuming burden on immigrants and a waste of money and resources for the federal government.

That, more than anything else, is what the flight to Martha’s Vineyard should be teaching us.

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