Why does Senate coronavirus stimulus provide $350 million for migrant and refugee assistance?

If anything, the $350 million should have gone to federal law enforcement agencies who enforce immigration laws and enhance border security.

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The Senate coronavirus stimulus bill, passed by a 96-0 vote Wednesday, provides $350 million for “migration and refugee assistance,” leaving at least one member of Congress asking ,”Why?”

It’s difficult to ascertain what migration or refugee assistance would be necessary to combat detrimental economic effects caused by the coronavirus crisis, or why it would require separate categorization from the American people.

It should also be noted that there is nothing in the bill providing assistance to ICE or Border Patrol, two agencies who actually aid in preventing the spread of coronavirus by enforcing border security.

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Take Care of Americans First

Rep. Matt Gaetz (R-FL) slammed this provision in the bill and asked the obvious question: “Why in the world would we have $350 million for migrants and refugees before we restore the economic condition of every American in our country?” And why would the Republican-led Senate allow something like that through? $350 million could buy a lot of ventilators or hospital supplies.

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Pelosi’s Original Request

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House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-CA), in her iteration of the stimulus bill, had requested $300 million “to remain available until expended, for necessary expenses to prevent, prepare for, and respond to coronavirus.” So she actually got more in the since-passed bill than she wanted.

House Minority Whip Steve Scalise (R-LA) blasted the numerous frivolous pork items presented by Democrats during the fight over stimulus legislation, accusing Pelosi of “exploiting the COVID-19 public health crisis” and deriding it for having “nothing to do with the public health and economic emergency.”

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If Anything, It Should Have Gone to ICE

If anything, the $350 million should have gone to federal law enforcement agencies who enforce immigration laws and enhance border security. What better way to stop the spread of coronavirus and limit the economic effects? Fox News host Laura Ingraham has suggested all immigration into the United States should be put on hold every day Americans are suffering physically and economically due to the pandemic.

The State Department last week announced a temporary suspension of refugee re-settlements, and President Trump confirmed a halt to the entry of foreign nationals at both the southern and northern borders. CNN reports that legal and illegal travel at both the northern and southern border has “drastically” dropped “following the Trump administration’s stringent restrictions aimed at slowing the spread of the coronavirus.” If that is the case, why did Nancy need more money for migrants and refugees, let alone any money at all?

This piece originally appeared in ThePoliticalInsider.com and is used by permission.

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