Matt Gaetz unveils bill to deport illegal immigrants amid a pandemic, cites Mexico’s policy as example

(Image: Fox News screenshot)

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Rep. Matt Gaetz wants to put “Americans first” during future pandemics and unveiled a bill to deport all illegal immigrants in the next national health emergency.

The Florida Republican introduced legislation on Tuesday that would ensure that the United States government deports all those in the country illegally in the event there is another emergency involving a communicable disease such as the coronavirus pandemic.

(Source: Fox News)

“It is unconscionable that at a time when we should be working together as Americans, Democrats are working to socially engineer our country and advance their legislative priorities,” Gaetz said in a statement.

“The PANDEMIC Act puts Americans first by requiring that all illegal aliens be deported during a pandemic, ensuring our resources are used to benefit and protect American citizens,” he added.

Gaetz introduced the Protect American Nationals During Emergencies by Mitigating the Immigration Crisis Act in response to legislation proposed by Democrats to release all detained illegal immigrants that are not considered to be a risk to the public.

The Florida lawmaker accused Democrats of wanting “COVID catch and release on the border” during an interview with Fox News’ Tucker Carlson.

“Just imagine the post-coronavirus world that the left is trying to create,” he said on “Tucker Carlson Tonight” Tuesday, referring to the bill introduced by Democrats Rep. Pramila Jayapal of Washington and Sen. Cory Booker of New Jersey.

“We have an obligation to do everything we can to prevent the spread of this deadly disease, and that means moving people out of detention centers when they do not pose a public safety risk,” Booker said, adding that it is a “matter of life and death.”

“They want to move cell block C into our neighborhoods, and then they want Americans stuck at home waiting for some inefficient government system to deliver a check while the place we used to work is shut down waiting for another Chinese swab to be delivered so we can enter phase 3,” Gaetz told Carlson.

“So my idea is, instead of releasing criminal illegal aliens into our communities, we should deport them immediately,” he said, explaining the PANDEMIC Act and pointing to Mexico’s successful policy of “immediately deporting people as a consequence of coronavirus.”

“I think we should love our country at least as much as Mexico loves theirs,” Gaetz said.

The legislation requires that during a national emergency involving a contagious disease, any illegal immigrant would be deported from the U.S. “in a manner which eliminates the need for additional detention at any processing center” and that “assures expeditious removal.”

Nearly 700 illegal immigrants were being released earlier this month in an effort to combat the spread of COVID-19 in detention centers and prisons, according to Acting Deputy Homeland Security Secretary Ken Cuccinelli. The administration has been turning back asylum-seekers and anyone caught trying to get in illegally at the border and most services to process visas have also been shut down due to the coronavirus outbreak.

Carlson questioned Gaetz about the motivation for Democrats to introduce legislation that would require the release of detainees in the middle of a pandemic.

“This is part virtue signaling, but this is the left using the coronavirus to try to have all the social engineering that they seek. They really do want a world where there are no borders, where American taxpayers have to provide for everyone in the world, whether they follow our laws or not,” Gaetz replied.

“We shouldn’t just be horrified that they would use coronavirus for leverage,” he added, “we should be frightened by the actual agenda that they are trying to execute.”


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