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GOP Michigan state rep mistakenly claims Gonzaga team buses are for ‘illegal invaders’

A Republican state legislator in Michigan railed against buses of “illegal invaders” landing at his local airport Wednesday, but he garnered criticism after it was discovered the buses carried a college basketball team.

Rep. Matt Maddock (R) said the Gonzaga University basketball team, which was in Detroit for its March Madness Sweet 16 match-up on Friday, was a group of “illegal immigrants.”

“Happening right now. Three busses just loaded up with illegal invaders at Detroit Metro. Anyone have any idea where they’re headed with their police escort?” Maddock wrote on X, the platform formerly known as Twitter.

Maddock included photos of an Allegiant Air plane and a fleet of team buses, which appeared identical to the aircraft and buses shown in Gonzaga Basketball posts about the team landing in Detroit at about the same time Maddock made his comments.

The post circulated quickly, with dozens of users pointing out the mistake and making fun of Maddock. Rep. Eric Swalwell (D-Calif.) commented on the post, calling Maddock out for his assumptions.

“Hey Einstein, your state is hosting the Sweet 16. Could it be a team bus? If it is, will you resign for your spectacular stupidity?” Swalwell wrote.

Maddock’s comments come as Republicans zero in on immigration as a key topic for the 2024 election. Hours later, he doubled down on the “illegals” claim.

“We know this is happening. 100,000’s of illegals are pouring into our country. We know it’s happening in Michigan,” he wrote. “Our own governor is offering money to take them in! Since we can’t trust the #FakeNews to investigate, citizens will. The process of investigating these issues takes time.”

Maddock again stood by his comments in a statement to The Hill.

“The whole nation knows about the Democrat illegal invasion human trafficking criminal enterprise. Why does the media only work to cover it up?” he said.

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