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Nadler’s Bill Wants Delay In Deporting Illegal Immigrants Who Have Virus
Representative Jerry Nadler, a Democrat from New York, arrives to a weekly Democratic caucus meeting at the U.S. Capitol in Washington, D.C., U.S., on Wednesday, Feb. 5, 2020.
Andrew Harrer/Bloomberg via Getty Images

On Thursday, House Judiciary chairman Rep. Jerry Nadler (D-NY) introduced a bill that would delay sending illegal immigrants who test positive for coronavirus back to their native countries.

Nadler’s website stated: “Today, House Judiciary Committee Chairman Jerrold Nadler (D-NY) introduced the Coronavirus Containment Act of 2020, legislation that will help stem the global spread of COVID-19 by requiring Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) to conduct testing for COVID-19 on individuals who are slated for removal or repatriation, and suspending the removal of individuals who test positive for COVID-19 until such individuals test negative for the virus in a manner approved by the CDC. The legislation also requires ICE to publish and regularly update data relating to the testing and removal or repatriation of individuals during the COVID-19 public health emergency.”

Nadler attacked President Trump in his statement, saying, “Not only has President Trump failed to contain COVID-19 within the United States, he has allowed ICE to recklessly export the pandemic abroad. If we want to seriously stop the spread of this global health crisis, we cannot let ICE continue the dangerous practice of repatriating individuals without appropriate testing.”

He continued, “The bill I’ve introduced requires ICE to expand testing for individuals set for repatriation and halt the removal of any individual who tests positive for COVID-19. The reality is this legislation should not even be necessary; this is just basic common sense and the minimum that ICE should be doing. By containing cases known to have originated in the United States, we can protect countless lives and ease the burdens that vulnerable countries face in battling this deadly disease.”

The bill delineated the steps to be taken in the event an illegal alien was found to have contracted the virus:

In the case that an individual tested under subsection (a)(1) tests positive for SARS–CoV–2, such individual may not be removed or otherwise repatriated until such individual (1) exhibits no symptoms of COVID–19 for at least 10 days; and (2) is administered 2 additional viral tests more than 24 hours apart and tests negative for SARS– CoV–2 each time such a viral test is administered.

The bill cited Haiti and Guatemala as examples of the necessity for delaying the deportation of immigrants ill with the virus:

Haiti is one of the most vulnerable nations in the world to SARS–CoV–2 with only a few dozen ventilators for 11 million people. Yet, in April 2020, multiple individuals who were repatriated or otherwise removed to Haiti on a single flight tested positive for SARS–CoV–2 upon their arrival. In May, U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement planned to repatriate more than 100 individuals to Haiti, including individuals known to have COVID–19, but abandoned these plans after media scrutiny and pressure from the Haitian government.

As of mid-May 2020, more than 100 individuals have tested positive for SARS–CoV–2 upon arrival in Guatemala, prompting Guatemala to suspend repatriation flights from the United States on several occasions.


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