Colbert on DeSantis’s asylum seeker flights: ‘Way worse than we imagined’

Stephen Colbert

Stephen Colbert opened Monday’s Late Show with the state funeral for Queen Elizabeth II in London on Monday, a lengthy procession in which King Charles and his three siblings walked behind the coffin for 1.5 hours. “That’s not easy – for years, the royal family’s only form of exercise has been walking back statements from Andrew,” Colbert quipped.

The procession required 22 miles of barriers in central London alone. “Of course, those in the city who wanted to know exactly where the procession was at any one moment along the route could just download the Domino’s Monarch Tracker,” Colbert joked.

Colbert then turned to domestic concerns, particularly to the stunt pulled last week by the Florida governor, Ron DeSantis, who sent two planes full of Venezuelan asylum seekers to Martha’s Vineyard without any forewarning. “Turns out, it was way worse than we imagined because he actually abducted them from Texas,” Colbert explained. “For a guy who acts so concerned about borders, he doesn’t seem to know where his state ends.

Related: Stephen Colbert: DeSantis ‘was human trafficking these families as a political stunt’

“Why is the governor of Florida spending his taxpayers’ money to snatch asylum seekers in Texas? Because he can read their minds,” Colbert deadpanned, playing a video in which DeSantis justified his actions by saying that most of the asylum seekers intended to go to Florida. “Come on, no one intends to go to Florida,” Colbert contended. “You’re forced to go there for two reasons: you’re about to die and want to eat pudding next to an alligator, or you want to do that Disney thing and build your own light saber.”

Seth Meyers

“As they start to worry about their midterm prospects, Republicans are turning to their favorite election year scare tactic by lying about immigration, highlighted by an especially cruel and sadistic stunt by Florida governor Ron DeSantis,” said Seth Meyers on Monday’s Late Night.

DeSantis’s decision to fly asylum seekers to Martha’s Vineyard was “a stunt designed entirely to curry favor with Fox News, who he apparently alerted beforehand”, Meyers noted.

“So congrats, Florida, you just spent a bunch of taxpayer money on a stupid and repulsive stunt that achieved nothing except maybe some publicity for Ron DeSantis’s 2024 presidential bid,” he added. “And, worse than that, you gave the rich liberals who summer on Martha’s Vineyard another thing to feel self-righteous about.

“On top of the many ways in which this stunt is ghoulish and cruel,” he added, NPR reported that the migrants were lured on to the plane under false pretenses and told they would be flown to Boston for expedited work papers.

“The Republican party is an institution built almost entirely around spectacles of cruelty and humiliation, and that’s how you know they’re desperate,” Meyers concluded. “They’re resorting to horrific scare tactics and grotesque stunts in an effort to gin up yet another election year panic about the border.”

Jimmy Kimmel

Jimmy Kimmel also touched on the Queen’s funeral, which “stretched for miles, similar to what goes on here in America when Popeye’s comes out with a new chicken sandwich”.

And he disputed Trump’s characterization of the FBI’s seizure of classified documents at Trump’s home in Mar-a-Lago last month. Over the weekend, Trump posted on Truth Social: “I’ll soon be heading to the scene of the unwarranted, unjust, and illegal Raid and Break-in of my home in Florida, Mar-a-Lago.”

“Unwarranted? The FBI literally had a warrant,” Kimmel said. “And let’s clear another thing up: what happened at Mar-a-Lago was not a raid or a break-in. They asked him to return the documents, and they only showed up to take them when he didn’t.

“This is not a raid or a break-in. A break-in is what Trump used to do in the Miss Universe dressing room.”

Trevor Noah

And on the Daily Show, Trevor Noah laughed at a British news anchor calling queueing a “national pastime” in regards to the Queen’s funeral. “That’s an interesting takeaway,” said Noah. “I think they also like the Queen but this is true: apparently, standing in line is really popular in Britain. It’s like their national pastime.

“And before you make fun of them for doing something so boring, don’t forget America’s national pastime is baseball – when people act as if someone died but they didn’t,” he added.

Noah also praised David Beckham for declining to skip the queue and waiting in line to pay his respects, “which is really admirable, especially when you consider that you don’t know who you’re going to be stuck in that line with”. There could be an Arsenal fan behind him for 20 hours “just like, ‘man, United ain’t shit this season! Arsenal! Arsenal!’”