The 2022 version of 'the caravans are coming': Ex-Republican aide says GOP is desperate for winning message
Florida Governor Rob DeSantis speaks at the University of Miami in 2019. (

In both 2018 and 2020, the Fox networks, Republicans and other conservative outlets claimed that millions of migrants were in a caravan headed to the U.S. and Mexico border to "invade" the United States. Former President Donald Trump even went so far as to send soldiers to the border, where most of them slept in their cars, and puttered around without much to do. Other states sent their state guard soldiers as well.

But after the election was over, the soldiers were called home and the "caravan" story was over. Rep. Matt Gaetz (R-FL) even admitted that the video his campaign used was a lie, but defended it anyway.

The new ploy, according to former Republican Oversight Committee spokesperson-turned Democratic strategist, Kurt Bardella, is the use of state resources to ship refugees and migrants to random places around the country. It began with a threat by Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis (R), but he's been unwilling to make good on the claim. Instead, DeSantis devised a plan to pick up people in Texas and ship them to the northeast, including a one-month-old baby sent to the home of Vice President Kamala Harris.

Texas Gov. Greg Abbott (R) has been sending busses of migrants to the Fox News headquarters, including children. It was revealed that they were lied to about where they were going.

Speaking to MSNBC on Sunday, legal analyst for The Nation, Elie Mystal explained that the fact that the people were lied to would give Attorney General Merrick Garland the right to launch kidnapping charges or human trafficking.

But it was Bardella who said that this is a ploy by Republicans to distract from other issues that Americans are actually concerned about, but they don't have winning solutions for. Immigration isn't the top issue on any polls anywhere this election cycle. Yet, the conservatives are searching for a way that they can force it to be the issue using refugees and migrants as props.

"One of the things we need to realize here is that context in which this is happening, the political environment has become very toxic and poisonous for the Republicans heading into the midterms, because of the radical extreme stance on abortion, there assaults on women's rights in America," said Bardella. "How convenient the as the political and start changing they start turning to the stunts. We've seen integrations of this before. Remember last, time there were these migrant caravans? They're invading us, admittedly election ended that story went away from them. This is just taking that playbook on steroids to a whole new level. That's what they're doing they don't want to spend any time talking about their efforts to try to mandate forced birth in this country."

This is more in their wheelhouse, so they're pivoting to figure out how they can make immigration an issue again.

The panel suggested that the reason DeSantis had to send migrants from Texas is that if he sent Venezuelans fleeing communism or the Cubans that continue to come into Florida it would actually hurt him with voters. His only option was to ship another state's immigrants off.

See the exchange below:

The caravans are coming