U.S. Rep. Matt Gaetz on Wednesday filed legislation that would deport “illegal aliens” during a pandemic-driven national emergency.
The ‘‘Protect American Nationals During Emergencies by Mitigating the Immigration Crisis Act’’ (or‘‘PANDEMIC Act’’ for short) requires the removal of “aliens in detention during a national emergency.”
A media release from the Pensacola Republican’s Congressional office notes the bill is a direct response to legislation filed by Democrats in both the House and Senate requiring the release of incarcerated undocumented immigrants.
With Republicans an entrenched minority in the House, a path forward for Gaetz’s legislation is unclear.
However, Gaetz’s prepared statement concedes nothing.
“Democrats are taking advantage of a national pandemic by working to advance their radical agenda at the expense of Americans’ safety and well-being,” the Congressman asserted.
“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,” Gaetz added.
The legislation allows for removal of undocumented immigrants even if their incarceration predates an outbreak of a communicable disease, such as that of this year’s novel coronavirus.
“Notwithstanding any other provision of law,” the bill asserts,” 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.”