Lawmakers seeks to divert illegal immigrants released in Pennsylvania to Delaware

Republican State Sen. Mario Scavello wants the illegal aliens to be moved to President Joe Biden's home state.

Updated: January 17, 2022 - 10:59pm

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A Pennsylvania senator wants to divert an influx of illegal immigrants being relocated to Pennsylvania to President Joe Biden’s home state of Delaware.

State Sen. Mario Scavello, R-Scotrun, filed a memorandum seeking co-sponsors for a bill to relocate illegal immigrants transported to Pennsylvania by the federal government to Delaware, as well as a state ban on working with federal contractors that transport illegal immigrants to Pennsylvania.

Scavello pointed to federal immigration policy, and specifically recent news reports of transports of illegal immigrants to Pennsylvania, as the impetus behind the proposed legislation.

“The federal government has relocated an unknown number of illegal immigrants to states across the nation, including Pennsylvania, and at the same time they have failed to provide information that ensures the safety of Pennsylvania citizens,” Scavello wrote in the memo.

“The open-border policy of the president’s administration has created a health crisis as well as a financial crisis, and states across the nation are being forced to pay for the reckless abandonment of the rule of law,” he wrote. “What is more concerning is that Governor Wolf has jeopardized the safety and security of Pennsylvania residents by enabling this and by not acting on this, he is aligning himself with such policies.”

U.S. Customs and Border Protection has encountered nearly 1.8 million migrants at the southwest border since President Joe Biden took office, with an unknown number released into the country through the Office of Refugee Resettlement. The Department of Health and Human Services also places migrant children from the border throughout the country.

Scavello’s proposed legislation follows a letter from U.S. Rep. Dan Meuser just after Christmas to Alejandro Mayorkas, secretary of the Department of Homeland Security, and Tae Johnson, acting director of the U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement, about reports of numerous flights into the Wilkes Barre-Scranton International Airport with hundreds of illegal immigrants, mostly minors.

An airport contractor confirmed to the Times Leader that at least five flights involving between 100 and 120 passengers each arrived at the airport in December.

Meuser demanded to know how many illegal immigrants were transported through the airport and the conditions of their release, as well as their final destinations. He also sought information on whether passengers were tested for COVID-19, protocols for those who test positive, policies for informing local officials, as well as any criminal background checks and estimated time frame for court dates involving the illegal immigrants.

“I am calling on you and President Biden to immediately end this irresponsible practice in northeast Pennsylvania and throughout the country,” Meuser wrote. “The Biden Administration has failed to secure the southern border and encouraged the mass migration that has been occurring for months. It is unconscionable that such policies have proceeded amid a global pandemic, economic crisis, and epidemic drug abuse to which an open border certainly contributes. This mismanagement is now directly impacting the people I represent, and I expect you will provide me the answers I need to address my constituents’ concerns.”

Scavello echoed the same issues to Newsweek, citing concerns about COVID-19 and how the influx of illegal immigrants would impact Pennsylvania communities he represents.

"[The federal government}], they're not funding the education of these kids. It's on the backs of the people that live in those communities," Scavello told the news site. "I'm one of those that always looks for a way to help, especially the seniors that are really hurting paying their school taxes."

Scavello wrote in his legislative memo that his proposed legislation is inspired by a similar proposal in Florida to relocate illegal immigrants to Delaware.

“In addition, this legislation would ban the issuance of state contract work with any federal contractors working with the federal government to transport illegal immigrants to Pennsylvania,” the memo read.

"If he's not going to protect the border, maybe he'll protect Delaware," Scavello told Newsweek of Biden. "They belong back at the border, but the president isn't enforcing it."