Exclusive: Matt Gaetz Proposes to Rescind Refugee Resettlement Funding to Bolster ICE

A McAllen Station Border Patrol agent arrests a migrant who illegally crossed the border from Mexico into Texas. (File Photo: Bob Price/Breitbart Texas)
File Photo: Bob Price/Breitbart Texas

Rep. Matt Gaetz (R-FL) introduced the NO PORK Act on Friday, which would strip the $350 million in refugee funding in the CARES Act and redistribute it to the U.S. Border Patrol and Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE), Breitbart News has learned exclusively.

Gaetz introduced the Negating Outlandish Pork in Our Reinvestment Kit Act, or NO PORK Act, to rescind a Democrat provision that the Florida conservative contends would radically reshape America to fit their leftist agenda.

Congressman Gaetz said in a statement on Friday:

It is unacceptable that Democrats have chosen to use the COVID-19 pandemic as an opportunity to socially reengineer our country to conform to their agenda. We should be coming together as a country and working to advance policies that put America and the American people first. I’m proud to introduce the ‘No Pork Act,’ which revokes the $350 million set aside for illegal immigrants in the CARES Act and sends it to ICE and Border Patrol, who are working tirelessly each day on the front lines of the pandemic to keep America safe.

The NO PORK Act would:

  • Strike the Bilateral Economic Assistance provision for the Department of State’s Migration and Refugee Assistance program and provide the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) $175 million for its operations and support fund.
  • Provide $175 million for U.S. Customs and Border Patrol’s security, enforcement, and investigations program.

The $350 million in funding for migration and refugee resettlement serves as part of $12 billion in reportedly “questionable” spending in the CARES Act. The coronavirus response package also included:

  • $10 million for international development
  • $93 million for Congress
  • $75 million for PBS
  • $75 million for the National Foundation on the Arts and Humanities

The Florida congressman also noted that $13 million will go to Howard University in Washington, DC.

Gaetz wrote in March:

$13,000,000 in taxpayer funds could be going to families across the nation struggling to put food on the table in the midst of COVID-19. Instead, it’s going to Howard University. Education is important- but a $13 million check to Howard does not belong in COVID-19 relief.

Gaetz called out Democrats in March for including the refugee and migration provision, labeling it “America LAST.”

The Florida congressman said, “Millions of Americans need help now. Dangerous poison pills like $350,000,000 for “Migration and Refugee Assistance” put America LAST. Democrats: This is not the time to advance your legislative agenda. This is the time to put #AmericaFirst.”

Rep. Ilhan Omar (D-MN) defended the $350 million refugee settlement in March, contending that immigrants and refugees also pay taxes.

Omar said, “Immigrants and refugees, are Americans/pay taxes and as vulnerable communities need the resources … to prevent, prepare for, and respond to coronavirus’.”

Omar asked Gaetz in March, “Wonder why this upsets you more than a $500,000,000 billion corporate welfare fund for a select group of large companies?”

Gaetz countered Omar, noting that the CARES Act provision will largely be spent on illegal immigrants and foreign migrants.

He said, “Much of this money will be spent on illegal immigrants in the United States, and foreign migrants around the world. Neither of those groups are Americans. This does not belong in a relief package for American workers and businesses. #AmericaFirst.”

No PORK Act by Breitbart News on Scribd

Sean Moran is a congressional reporter for Breitbart News. Follow him on Twitter @SeanMoran3.

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