Shevrin Jones wants ’empathy and humanity’ in Haiti crisis response
Shevrin Jones, a barrier-breaking LGBTQ legislator, found Basabe's approach to lawmaking too unpalatable to stand, even for a cause he supports. Image via Colin Hackley/Florida Politics.

He doesn't want Gov. DeSantis to score 'political points off people's suffering.'

A Democratic state Senator who represents the “largest Haitian Diaspora in the United States” is the latest voice to issue cautionary words about Florida’s strategy for dealing with the crisis in Haiti.

“Right now, Haitians are living in fear and uncertainty, their families in Florida worried and heartsick for what their future may bring,” writes Shevrin Jones to Gov. Ron DeSantis. “This is not a time to score political points off people’s suffering – this is a time to recognize that Haitians need our help.”

“We need to show compassion and humanity as we come together to figure out Florida’s next steps in addressing the Haitian crisis and the challenges it will bring to our state,” continued Jones.

The Miami Gardens Democrat adds that “proposals such as considering shipping Haitian migrants to Martha’s Vineyard or any other location are troubling and do not align with our values of empathy and respect for human rights. We must strive to uphold these values in all our actions and policies.”

The Governor has already launched Operation Vigilant Sentry, designed to keep Haitian refugees from making landfall and finding refuge in Florida, with 250 total forces deployed. More than half of them are from the Florida State Guard. The balance comes from the Florida Department of Law Enforcement, the Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission, the Florida National Guard, and the Florida Highway Patrol.

As Jones notes, DeSantis has floated Martha’s Vineyard as a potential destination for Haitians intercepted by Florida.

He has also said another state’s law currently being disputed in court could be a model for Florida and a version thereof should be enacted before next year’s regular Legislative Session.

“I’m working with folks to craft, if there’s something we can do in a Special Legislative Session, to give our law enforcement more authority to arrest and detain, because I think that will be a huge disincentive for people to come if we can do it,” DeSantis said on the Sean Hannity radio show, pointing to Texas’ SB 4 as a potential prototype.

As the Texas Tribune reports, the bill could put border crossers in jail for six months on their first offense, and up to 20 years for a repeat offense. It would also force Judges to order repatriation, with local law enforcement responsible for taking undocumented immigrants back to the border.

A.G. Gancarski

A.G. Gancarski has written for since 2014. He is based in Northeast Florida. He can be reached at [email protected] or on Twitter: @AGGancarski


  • Earl Pitts "The Big Voice On The Right" American

    March 23, 2024 at 10:07 am

    Good Morn ‘Ting Shevrin,
    Ron and I, Earl Pitts American, thank you for “Weighing In” on the all critical humanatrian crisis in Haiti. We welcome any and all input and will encorperate all into our Sage Decision Making Process. Thank you Shev.
    “We have great respect for any and all input from all races, colors, creed, or national origians. The only thing we try to avoid is the input from anyone who has behaved, in the past as a “Dook 4 Brains Leftist” and I’m sure that does not apply to” ….. ring ….. ring ….. “hold on a sec Shev”,
    “yeah you got Earl” ….. “whats that?” “Shev’s a Dook 4 Brains Lefty”? …. “OK thanks for calling”.

    “Sorry for the interuption, Shev …. uhh ….. yeah, Shev …. Ron and I thank you and hope to work with you more closley in the future”.
    Have a great day Shev,
    Earl Pitts American

    • rick whitaker

      March 23, 2024 at 11:35 am


    • Silly Wabbit

      March 23, 2024 at 2:38 pm

      Pitts dook.

    • rick whitaker

      March 23, 2024 at 7:46 pm


  • MH/Duuuval

    March 23, 2024 at 10:18 am

    The French in 1804, after losing on the battlefield to Toussaint and Co., used financial weapons to force the Haitians to pay former slaveholders and, thanks to compound interest, the state of Haiti was still paying off that loan a century later. The US enters the picture militarily and economically after WWI, and US banks take over the debt collecting from French banks.

    Meanwhile, Mr. Border Control has done nothing to stop the trafficking of firearms to Haiti, which has enabled the mob violence going on there now. Go on, Dee, wash your hands like Pilate!

  • Rat Wrangler

    March 23, 2024 at 11:01 am

    Haiti was one of the founding members of the United Nations back in 1945. That organization is making some attempts to get food, clean water, and medical care to the people, but is doing nothing to curb the cartel control of the country. Perhaps if they called on several nations to supply military might and went in and removed the cartels from power, fewer Haitian citizens would feel compelled to leave their homeland.

    • rick whitaker

      March 23, 2024 at 11:18 am

      naw, that sounds like a little too much of a dem policy for the florida maga cult to understand. putting people ahead of money and power is evil according to desantis and his gang. hati deserves a dem gov. but the maga people just worry about money. of course most haitians are the wrong color for maga to care about. florida is a hell hole, move while there are still buyers for your house.

    • Old geezer

      March 23, 2024 at 2:24 pm

      This is what Biden admin has proposed–several nations like Canada, US, Spain, Germany, France and Benin, have already pledged support, while a UN security force led by Kenya would go in to establish order and round up criminal gangs. The US is the lynchpin but it’s being blocked by Republicans in Congress because they don’t want yet another blank check and international debacle–their concerns are understandable but a consensus on right action with limits could be reached if people get serious. It needs to be joint multilateral multi-nation effort, not US bigfooting. I think it’s telling and disappointing Americas/Caribbean/Central/South American nations have not stepped up (unless I missed it) to offer support. Haiti has always been at the bottom of the totem pole in the hemisphere and many got burned back in Papa Doc days and now view it as a vortex while they are also struggling themselves. The UN is still vitally important but has largely become a bloated administrative body, a toothless nanny concerned with its own proclamations and only able to enforce anything against the nation states it already takes for granted, all while demanding more blank checks from the US or doing nothing. This is why Trump has taken aim in the past but it is wrong approach and would be disastrous to disengage. The UN needs to reform itself back to multi-nation peacekeeping efforts with teeth, nations needs to PAY THEIR FAIR SHARE and PARTICIPATE, step up and be forced to be accountable, and the favouritism politics has to stop. Haiti is textbook definition of why the UN exists. And they actually do not need US blank check to take action–they have their own budget (mostly from US) and authority, except that it is a moocher organization where many members don’t like to pay their dues or show up but just drink all the free booze. Due to Haiti’s proximity to the US, it is just assumed it’s uncle sam’s problem. That’s my 2 pennies.

      • rick whitaker

        March 23, 2024 at 7:40 pm

        old geezer, the un and issues about who’s paying and who ain’t, is an obvious wedge issue being used by the maga cult led by trump. i noted 2 words in your post that i found to be too subjective and politicized to be used to describe the issue as i would. ” fair share ” and ” participate ” are not finite enough to be used fairly. for example, in my family, if i as the principle bread winner, told my wife who took care of the , house, pets, meals, and childcare, that she didn’t do her ” fair share ” or ” participate ” enough for the family compared to my financial only effort. how do you think that would be received. so sharing and participation are not always the same to everyone. as a progressive dem, i don’t go by the same rules you do in looking at this un issue. the gop is always using false equivalency arguments because they don’t have any merit to stand on. pleased don’t be fooled by these crafty propagationist. the un is worth every penny and more. i know the world i live in and how dangerous it is.

        • Old geezer

          March 26, 2024 at 2:18 am

          Rick, fair enough (see what I did there?). Your points are noted and that’s not apart from what I meant. The UN determines who pays what in a byzantine complex system but ultimately there are some LARGE nations who are NOT pulling their weight or adhering to many of the UN edicts like ignoring sanctions against Russia, actively working against and going around them, not paying their pre established dues, refusing humanitarian assistance, not maintaining human rights or actively violating human rights, even actively acting as aggressors against the UN charter but still holding membership. When Putin declared war on Ukraine, it was Russia’s turn to hold the gavel on the UN Security Council and they had supporting votes to avoid censure. It was decided better to retain the enemy within than cut him loose, just placate him. Yeah that worked out great. Even though that act of aggression (invading and declaring war on another UN member nation) goes against the UN charter? But because certain countries have undue influence even as they don’t always pay their actual dues, the UN did nothing. And when things get tight, it’s countries like Haiti who don’t get the help, just a lot of finger pointing which accomplishes nothing. So yes, it’s a hugely important body and lord knows where we’d be without it, but no, it sure is not perfect. Not everything is black and white. That’s all I meant. I said already it would be disastrous to disengage. It’s also foolish to think a huge supranational political body is going to agree all the time or get things right or even get stuff done any faster than glacial pace. Doesn’t mean it’s not important. But we live in a world now where they only nations adhering to the spirit and letter of the law are the ones who believe in the rule of law and international law, while others just flaunt it and say what are you going to do? Head in sand approach and complacency are equally disastrous to throwing in the towel and disengaging. If you read all this, my hat’s off to you.

          • Rick Whitaker

            March 26, 2024 at 3:32 pm

            old geezer your comment was well received. i might add that, in my opinion, having the un headquarters in the usa gives us a HUGE edge over all the rest of the countries, payers and non-payers. i think it’s an edge that is far more important than fees or rule breaking. it gives usa the edge for setting the tone as to who the good guys are and who the bad guys are. it’s like owning the football and the yard you’re playing in.

  • TJC

    March 23, 2024 at 2:35 pm

    When Florida state Senator Shevrin Jones wrote to Governor DeSantis on behalf of Haitians here and in Haiti, “This is not a time to score political points off people’s suffering…” and, “We need to show compassion and humanity…” he must have realized he was appealing to a man for whom those phrases are laughable.
    Jones’s message was really to all Floridians, of course, and many of those who call themselves Christians will recognize that Christ would agree with Jones, while other “Christians” will focus only on their fear of others who don’t look like they do, or yap the yap they do. The Governor is betting on the latter group. After all, they voted for him. Twice.

    • MH/Duuuval

      March 25, 2024 at 7:57 pm

      Father knows best, according to Big Daddy Dee.

Comments are closed.


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