Ron DeSantis of Florida put immigration back on the front page of most newspapers a few weeks ago when he chartered a couple of planes to fly Venezuelan migrants to Martha’s Vineyard. Of course, he is not the first to shuffle off those in need of social services to other locals. The Governor of TX also recently bussed migrants to the home of Vice President Harris. But for decades those in need have shown up in Minneapolis having been given a one-way bus ticket from Chicago.
Immigrants have a place in America’s history and they continue to bring fresh economic energy with them when they arrive. Their work is visible across neighborhoods as roofers and painting contractors and nail technicians. Still- there’s an underselling of the work and services needed to bring new families into the American way of life. Who is going to be sure they have proper clothing for winter? Who can help set them up with services? Who can they call for advice on all those things a 20-something person would ring up their folks for reliable answers?
Even though the state provides another set of goods, there’s a certain type of capital needed to ease immigrants into their new communities. When a church sponsors a new family, the parish members fill the orders for all those material goods and services. Let’s say circulating capital is that which is needed to support the community interfaces between the new and existing polities.
Some communities claim they have no spare reserves. There are communities like Martha’s Vineyards who have reserves but not the structured intermediaries to deliver services. Then some communities welcome those in need despite lacking the circulating capital to maintain their existing community (this undoubtedly produces the most expensive outcome).
Hopefully we can come up with a better way to ease newcomers into American life than relying on the showmanship of politicians.