Resources for Bay Area
Teachers and Students

Common Core State Standard
SL.CCS.1/2/3/4 Grades 6-12: An essay of a current news event is provided for discussion to encourage participation, but also inspire the use of evidence to support logical claims using the main ideas of the article. Students must analyze background information provided about a current event within the news, draw out the main ideas and key details, and review different opinions on the issue. Then, students should present their own claims using facts and analysis for support.


Election-year drama: Florida governor draws attention by sending asylum seekers to Massachusetts

Summarize an update on this overall issue.
Share a quote from an editorial or opinion column about immigration.
Read about another national policy topic and tell two things you learn.

A multi-state drama this month shows the strains of an immigration backlog as thousands of migrants fleeing persecution and economic instability in Venezuela, Nicaragua and Cuba apply for legal asylum here. It also illustrates how easily they can be swept up in election year politics. Florida's Republican governor, Ron DeSantis, grabbed headlines by chartering two jets to fly 48 South American asylum applicants from Texas to the small Massachusetts resort island of Martha's Vineyard on Sept. 14. DeSantis, running for a second term, assumed they'd be unwelcome, though officials, clergy members and residents hosted the surprise arrivals with food, shelter and friendliness until the National Guard moved them to a military base near Boston.

Separately, eight Venezuelan migrants were flown from Texas to California's capital city. Gov. Greg Abbott of Texas earlier this year bused migrants released from federal immigration custody to Washington, D.C., New York City and Chicago. And in May, Arizona Gov. Doug Ducey also began transporting migrants to the national capital.

CNN says the stunts are part of "a strategy from Republican state officials to commandeer the course of national immigration policy." Immigration advocates, the Biden administration and other Democrats say transporting migrants is dehumanizing. Presidential press secretary Karine Jean-Pierre called the actions "cruel" and said at the White House: "There's a legal way of doing this and for managing migrants. Republican governors interfering in that process and using migrants as political pawns, is, is shameful, is reckless, and just plain wrong."

A civil rights law firm last week filed a federal lawsuit against DeSantis and others for transporting asylum applicants from San Antonio to Martha's Vineyard without arrangements in place. The Florida governor's communications director accused critics of using "illegal immigrants for political theater." She added: "The immigrants were homeless, hungry and abandoned – and these activists didn't care about them then. Florida's program gave them a fresh start in a sanctuary state and these individuals opted to take advantage of chartered flights to Massachusetts." But even Jared Kushner, son-in-law of Donald Trump, criticized the stunt. "We have to remember that these are human beings, they're people, so seeing them being used as political pawns is very troubling to me," he said on Fox News last week.

Gov. DeSantis says: "We take what's happening at the southern border very seriously, unlike some — unlike the president of the United States, who has refused to lift a finger to secure that border."

Congressman says: "The Department of Justice needs to investigate Governor DeSantis for using fraud and deception to lure people out of state only to abandon them without fulfilling his false promises. Same for Greg Abbott. They're engaging in human trafficking." – Joaquin Castro, D-Texas

Columnist says: "We don't just need immigrants to fill jobs — we also need their ambition, entrepreneurialism, work ethic, cultural creativity, strong family values and non-entitled attitudes." – Brett Stephens, The New York Times

Front Page Talking Points is written by Alan Stamm for, Copyright 2022

Front Page Talking Points Archive

Holiday tech gifts: See what's new, clever and affordable

World Cup soccer tournament in Qatar draws global attention for a month

NASA revives U.S. moon launches with the first of three Artemis missions

Democrats keep Senate control; House lineup in next Congress awaits a few vote totals

Decision time: Voting Tuesday will shape Congress and state leaderships

Health risks: Mix of 3 respiratory viruses among young Americans worries doctors

London drama: Britain this week gets its third prime minister in three months

Welcome trend: More factory jobs return to U.S. after being moved overseas

NFL player's head injury focuses fresh attention on football concussions

NASA shows it can bump an asteroid in space in case one ever heads at us

Complete archive