Editor’s note: Gov. Ron DeSantis’ involvement in flying two planes of immigrants to Martha’s Vineyard prompted a lot of readers to write. Here are some of their letters.
A Harvard man should know better
As a teacher, we have been told the state does not have enough money for our schools. Our veteran teachers here in Hillsborough County have not had a raise in three years. Our schools are short-staffed in all areas: teachers, administrators, custodial, bus drivers, cafeteria and office staff. However, our governor was able to create a $12 million budget for an initiative that now includes dealing with undocumented immigrants by flying them to Martha’s Vineyard to keep them out of Florida.
It’s short-sighted that Gov. Ron DeSantis cannot see the opportunity we have to create a symbiotic relationship by allowing the immigrants to stay and giving us a workforce we need. They could take the jobs that Americans have not filled, and we would create an environment for humans who obviously have a desire to do better in life. They would literally be working toward becoming legal citizens, while helping our education system. If they want to be here badly enough, they will make the effort to become productive citizens. This certainly would cost less than $12 million and have a positive impact. Greater lessons could be learned from having them become American citizens, rather than teaching children to treat people as if they have no value nor self worth. An educated man such as DeSantis surely should have learned this at Yale or Harvard.
Karyn Hillary, Brandon
If this is what it takes
What a beautiful thing it is to see buses and planes of undocumented immigrants arrive at in Washington, D.C., and Martha’s Vineyard. If this is what is needed to bring the U.S. border crisis right to the doorsteps of the nation’s lawmakers, then so be it. Until now, they have been able to lie and pretend that the border crisis doesn’t exist. If some law-breaking immigrants are being sent to sanctuary cities and states, then why is that a problem? Our borders are wide open and allowing thousands of people to enter our country, and they are a drain on and threat to our society. There are more humanitarian and legal ways to bring immigrants into our nation. Blaming the former administration and being untruthful or hypocritical about the crisis is no longer going to be acceptable to the American people and it will affect their choices in the midterms.
Charles Michael Sitero, Ormond Beach
Who benefits from this?
Who benefits when our governor uses taxpayer dollars to fly immigrants from other states to Martha’s Vineyard? Certainly not the people of Florida.
William Serron, Dunedin
Think of the teacher salaries
The Florida Legislature set aside $12 million for the transportation of families across state lines, like cargo, to cities that they deem necessary. Is it fiscally responsible to charter cross-country flights to prove a point? While it’s wrong on many levels, consider this: That $12 million could’ve funded the salaries of nearly 230 full-time teachers (based on the state median salary). In a time that we’re facing a teacher shortage to the point that the state will consider non-certified individuals to fill the gaps, the Legislature decided partisan tactics were a better use of state funds. This goes beyond shameful, this is willful negligence.
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Marc Steelman, St. Pete Beach
It’s nice here in winter
After reading about how our governor sent immigrants to Martha’s Vineyard, I was thinking that maybe the governors and mayors of northern states and cities should say to themselves, “You know, winter is coming to our states and cities and it will be getting cold, so maybe we should gather up our homeless population and send them to a warm climate for the winter season.” Of course, that would be Florida. I think The Villages and Naples would be good places to send them.
Alan Stull, Tampa