Florida Rep. Matt Gaetz wants to use the coronavirus pandemic to deport immigrants

Of course, since Republicans are the minority in the House, there’s pretty much no way this bill will ever get passed.

PHOTO VIA MATT GAETZ/TWITTER
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.

Support local journalism in these crazy days. Our small but mighty team is working tirelessly to bring you up to the minute news on how Coronavirus is affecting Tampa and surrounding areas. Please consider making a one time or monthly donation to help support our staff. Every little bit helps.

Follow @cl_tampabay on Twitter to get the most up-to-date news + views. Subscribe to our newsletter, too.

About The Author

Colin Wolf

Colin Wolf has been working with weekly newspapers since 2007 and has been the Digital Editor for Creative Loafing Tampa since 2019. He is also the Director of Digital Content Strategy for CL's parent company, Euclid Media Group.
Join the Creative Loafing Tampa Bay Press Club

Local journalism is information. Information is power. And we believe everyone deserves access to accurate independent coverage of their community and state.
Help us keep this coverage going with a one-time donation or an ongoing membership pledge.

Newsletters

Join Creative Loafing Tampa Bay Newsletters

Subscribe now to get the latest news delivered right to your inbox.

We welcome readers to submit letters regarding articles and content in Creative Loafing Tampa Bay. Letters should be a minimum of 150 words, refer to content that has appeared on Creative Loafing Tampa Bay, and must include the writer's full name, address, and phone number for verification purposes. No attachments will be considered. Writers of letters selected for publication will be notified via email. Letters may be edited and shortened for space.

Email us at rroa@cltampa.com