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What did these kids do to deserve this? | Editorial
Kids shouldn’t be used as props in immigration debate.
A woman, who is part of a group of immigrants that had just arrived, holds a child as they are fed outside St. Andrews Episcopal Church on Wednesday in Edgartown, Mass., on Martha's Vineyard. Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis flew two planes of immigrants to Martha's Vineyard, escalating a tactic by Republican governors to draw attention to what they consider to be the Biden administration's failed border policies. (Ray Ewing/Vineyard Gazette via AP)
A woman, who is part of a group of immigrants that had just arrived, holds a child as they are fed outside St. Andrews Episcopal Church on Wednesday in Edgartown, Mass., on Martha's Vineyard. Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis flew two planes of immigrants to Martha's Vineyard, escalating a tactic by Republican governors to draw attention to what they consider to be the Biden administration's failed border policies. (Ray Ewing/Vineyard Gazette via AP) [ AP ]
This article represents the opinion of the Tampa Bay Times Editorial Board.
Published Sep. 15|Updated Sep. 16

These are little kids. Just kids. We don’t know much about them. We don’t know their names or even where they’re from. Maybe Venezuela. Maybe Colombia. But we do know this. They’re just kids, and they deserve to be kids, not props or pawns in some ridiculous political grandstanding about immigration.

The kids came off of two chartered planes that, with the blessing and encouragement of Gov. Ron DeSantis — himself a father of three young children — dropped them in Martha’s Vineyard in an apparent attempt to own the libs. But it’s in the Bible itself (Mark 9:37) that Jesus says, “Whoever welcomes one of these little children in my name welcomes me.” So who was really doing what Jesus would do here?

On their way, the migrant families would have flown not so far from the Statue of Liberty, where Emma Lazarus’ poem declares the promise of a better America than the one that chartered those planes: “Give me your tired, your poor, your huddled masses yearning to breathe free, the wretched refuse of your teeming shore. Send these, the homeless, tempest-tost to me.” Remember, except for American Indians, all of our ancestors came from somewhere else, often fleeing conditions like those in Venezuela.

But that’s an editorial for another day. Right now, fight about immigration all you want, but leave the kids alone.

Editorials are the institutional voice of the Tampa Bay Times. The members of the Editorial Board are Editor of Editorials Graham Brink, Sherri Day, Sebastian Dortch, John Hill, Jim Verhulst and Chairman and CEO Conan Gallaty. Follow @TBTimes_Opinion on Twitter for more opinion news.

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