Mon, Jul

So What Do We Do When US Governors Start Trafficking Human Beings?


THE EASTSIDER - According to the US Department of Justice, this is the definition of Human Trafficking. 

“Human trafficking, also known as trafficking in persons, is a crime that involves compelling or coercing a person to provide labor or services, or to engage in commercial sex acts. The coercion can be subtle or overt, physical or psychological.  Exploitation of a minor for commercial sex is human trafficking, regardless of whether any form of force, fraud, or coercion was used.” 

It seems to me that the recent actions of Governor Abbott (R-Texas),and DeSantis (R-Florida) qualify as trafficking. 

Texas ‘Hot Flash’ Abbott

Abbot’s hot flash idea goes back to around April last year, when he got the jones to dump immigrants coming across the border into Texas, into places like New York City and Washington DC.  As reported in Fox News. 

“Texas Gov. Greg Abbott on Friday said he will keep sending illegal immigrants to the liberal cities of New York City and Washington D.C., despite a continuing feud with the Democratic mayors of those cities.

"Texas will continue busing migrants to NYC & D.C. to help our overrun border communities," Abbott said Friday.

Abbott’s office began busing migrants to Washington D.C. in April in response to the massive migrant crisis that border states are facing. It has recently also started sending migrants to the Big Apple as well, citing the city’s sanctuary city status.

Abbott’s office said Friday that it has so far bused more than 7,000 migrants to D.C. since April and has now sent more than 900 migrants this month. Arizona has bused over 1,000 migrants to Washington D.C. and has denied sending migrants to New York City.” 

Then in July last year, he decided to dump migrants back at the federal ports of entry along the border with Mexico. 

“Texas Republican Gov. Greg Abbott on Thursday authorized state officials and National Guardsmen to arrest migrants who enter the U.S. unlawfully and transport them to federal ports of entry along the border with Mexico, the latest escalation in his feud with the Biden administration over immigration policy.

Abbott signed a directive purporting to give the Texas National Guard and Department of Public Safety the authority to apprehend migrants who enter the U.S. in between ports of entry or "commit other violations of federal law." The order also empowered state officials to "return" these migrants to ports of entry, which are administered by U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP), a federal agency.” 

Clearly, Governor Abbott is a manly man. He also is a distinguished Texas Attorney. Per Wikipedia

“Abbott was the third Republican to serve as attorney general of Texas since the Reconstruction era. He was elected to that office with 57% of the vote in 2002 and reelected with 60% in 2006 and 64% in 2010, becoming the longest-serving Texas attorney general in state history, with 12 years of service. Before becoming attorney general, Abbott was a justice of the Texas Supreme Court, a position to which he was appointed in 1995 by then-governor George W. Bush. Abbott won a full term in 1998 with 60% of the vote. As attorney general, he successfully advocated for the Texas State Capitol to display the Ten Commandments in the 2005 U.S. Supreme Court case Van Orden v. Perry, and unsuccessfully defended the state's ban on same-sex marriage. He was involved in numerous lawsuits against the Barack Obama administration, seeking to invalidate the Affordable Care Act and the administration's environmental regulations.”  

Ivy League Lawyer and Florida Governor Ron DeSantis

Back in September of 2022, De Santis loudly proclaimed his vision. 

“Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis on Friday said he intends to use “every penny” of the $12 million his state budgeted to relocate migrants and set the expectation for buses and “likely more” flights full of migrants paid for by the state. 

“These are just the beginning efforts,” the Republican governor said. “We’ve got an infrastructure in place now. There’s going to be a lot more that’s happening.”

Speaking at a news conference in Daytona Beach, DeSantis defended using taxpayer dollars to send 50 migrants from Texas to Martha’s Vineyard because he said many people who cross the border end up in Florida. He said people working for Florida are in Texas and they “profile” individuals who are likely headed to Florida. 

This year, giddy from the right wing applause from his ‘great idea’, he got the Florida Legislature  to expand his migrant trafficking program.  As reported by CNN. 

“The program had stalled amid multiple legal challenges and questions as to whether the DeSantis administration had violated state law by rounding up migrants in Texas. The budget law that created the $12 million program specified that the money was set aside to relocate “unauthorized aliens from this state.” 

At DeSantis’ urging, lawmakers meeting in a special session this week voted to remove the restriction on where the state could pick up migrants. The program would also come under the purview of the Florida Division of Emergency Management. Because DeSantis has declared a state of emergency related to immigration, this would allow the administration to award millions of dollars in no-bid contracts to companies to move migrants across the country with little public disclosure.

The legislation comes as Florida has experienced a spike of migrants from Cuba and Haiti attempting to reach the state’s coast by boat. However, the bill’s sponsor, GOP state Sen. Blaise Ingoglia, said giving the DeSantis administration freedom to conduct missions outside of Florida would help stem the flow of migrants into the state.” 

Remember, Ron DeSantis is a lawyer, in fact a distinguished attorney. As Wikipedia put it.:

“DeSantis returned to the U.S. in April 2008, at which time he was reassigned to the Naval Region Southeast Legal Service. The U.S. Department of Justice appointed him to serve as a Special Assistant U.S. attorney at the U.S. Attorney's Office in the Middle District of Florida. DeSantis was assigned as a trial defense counsel until his honorable discharge from active duty in February 2010. He concurrently accepted a reserve commission as a lieutenant in the Judge Advocate General's Corps of the US Navy Reserve.

During his military career, DeSantis has been awarded the Bronze Star Medal, the Navy and Marine Corps Commendation Medal, the Global War on Terrorism Service Medal, and the Iraq Campaign Medal.” 

That is one heck of a background for someone trying to out Trump ex-President Donald Trump.  

The Takeaway

I don’t know if this all says something about politically power hungry lawyers, or the lengths that politicians will go to to win elective office.  Either way, it says a lot about

the lengths that very well educated people who should know better, are willing to go to to become a Governor or President of the United States. 

It does not say much about our political system, but it sure implies that these elected officials are trafficking in human life just like the traffickers who brought them here.


(Tony Butka is an Eastside community activist, who has served on a neighborhood council, has a background in government and is a contributor to CityWatch.)


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