Why is Florida Rejecting the Venezuelan Refugees?

By Daniel Nardini

Lawndale News Chicago's Bilingual Newspaper - CommentaryFlorida Governor Ron DeSantis, despite his anti-Communist stance, will not allow Venezuelan refugees into Florida. One of the largest groups of refugees at the U.S.-Mexico border right now are Venezuelan refugees who are either escaping Venezuela directly or coming from other countries in South America because a growing number of these countries are no longer welcoming Venezuelans. It is the supreme irony that the United States readily welcomes refugees from Ukraine, but not from Venezuela? I say we should readily welcome Ukrainians fleeing from a war zone. But the Venezuelans are fleeing from a bloodthirsty regimes that does not provide even basic necessities to their own people even though Venezuela has among the largest oil and natural gas reserves in the world.

What is even more perplexing is that DeSantis had actually “championed” the cause of the Venezuelan refugees not that long ago. The same politician who signed into state law teaching kids about the evils of Communism in the public schools will now not help lift a finger to bring in Venezuelans from fleeing socialism? In fact, like Republican Governor Greg Abbott of Texas, DeSantis simply does not want the Venezuelan refugees in his state. The bigger problem is the Republican Party itself which seems to be becoming anti-immigrant. It was not that long ago, during the Trump presidency, that Trump and the Republican Party talked about severely limiting the number of even legal immigrants to the United States (unless they were “white”). For those Venezuelan immigrants and Americans of Venezuelan ancestry, I would take note of what Florida Governor DeSantis is doing now.

I find it ironic that Florida allowed in Cuban refugees once they landed in Florida, but not Venezuelans? Apparently, we are seeing two contradictory things happening in the Republican Party now. They say they are anti-Communist and say they will welcome refugees fleeing from such countries. At the same time, they do not want certain groups coming into the United States “illegally” because they are not trying to get in “legally.” As someone who has dealt with the immigration process as it stands now, it is a long, extreme difficult and complicated process that requires a high-priced lawyer to navigate through. I know as I had to do this for my wife. And yes, a Republican President named George W. Bush made this whole process bad, arbitrary and unworkable all in the name of “national security.” Then former U.S. President Donald Trump made it xenophobic. If Ron DeSantis ever thinks about running form president, I hope that Venezuelan American voters remember what he did to their kin at this time.

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