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Wednesday, April 29, 2020

Florida congressman Matt Gaetz wants to use the coronavirus pandemic to deport immigrants

Posted By on Wed, Apr 29, 2020 at 5:21 PM

  • Photo via Matt Gaetz/Twitter
Today, Florida congressman Matt Gaetz, a racist ascot that's somehow animorphed into the shape of a congressman, filed a bill that would deport “illegal aliens” during a national emergency involving a pandemic.

The “Protect American Nationals During Emergencies by Mitigating the Immigration Crisis Act,” or the PANDEMIC Act, would require the removal of “aliens in detention during a national emergency,” when there’s a “communicable disease,” like COVID-19, and allowed for their removal even if their incarceration predates an outbreak.

“Notwithstanding any other provision of law,” says the bill, “any unlawfully present alien who is detained by U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement during a national emergency related to a communicable disease (regardless of whether the alien was taken into custody before or during the national emergency related to a communicable disease) shall be removed from the United States in a manner which eliminates the need for additional detention at any processing center of the Department of Homeland Security and in a manner which assures expeditious removal.”
The 1st District Republican says the bill is in direct response to a recent bill filed by Democrats that would require illegal immigrants being held to be released when a national emergency is declared.

“Democrats are taking advantage of a national pandemic by working to advance their radical agenda at the expense of Americans’ safety and well-being,” said Gaetz in a statement. “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. 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.”
Of course, since Republicans are the minority in the House, there’s pretty much no way this bill will ever get passed. If anything, the PANDEMIC Act is just another attention grabbing stunt that allows President Donald Trump’s base to know Gaetz still exists, like when he wore a gas mask on the House floor while voting for the $8.3 billion in emergency aid to combat novel coronavirus, or the time he filed an ethics complaint against House Speaker Nancy Pelosi for ripping paper, or when he stormed into the closed impeachment hearings, or that time he called former White House Counsel John Dean “old man Christmas.”

Anyway, looks like someone just earned his spot on Hannity tonight.

This story originally appeared in our sister paper Creative Loafing Tampa Bay.
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