Less than 24 hours after the Trump White House released a list of demands for immigration reform, including denying federal funds and grants to so-called sanctuary cities and states that interfere with the enforcement of immigration law, Republican gubernatorial candidate Kim Guadagno sounded off.
“Recently, there was a 6 year old raped by an illegal alien, in a sanctuary city in the state of New Jersey. Yet, my opponent thinks when it comes to protecting violent, illegal aliens he has their back. That’s unacceptable on any level,” said Guadagno.
The Democratic gubernatorial candidate, Phil Murphy, responded in a written statement saying, “Our hearts go out to this little girl and her family. It is absolutely disgusting that Kim Guadagno is trying to turn this tragedy into a political show. There is a criminal investigation and law enforcement should be able to do their jobs free of politics.”
No one knows what impact, if any, the debate on immigration will have on the outcome of the governor’s race Nov. 7. The Trump administration just disappointed Democrats and some Republicans who thought they were moving toward a compromise on immigration. But, critics say the list of priorities proves otherwise and provides no pathway to citizenship for millions of unauthorized immigrants, many of them whose parents brought them here as children. It includes the insistence on building a border wall, speeding up the removal of minors who come here without a parent and increasing scrutiny on what sanctuary cities do.
“It’s nothing more than a white supremacist wish list for what immigration policy should look like in this country,” said Make the Road New Jersey State Director Sara Cullinane.
Oscar Husni came to America from Egypt when he was nine. The 17-year-old U.S. citizen is a senior in high school and fears what could happen to many of his friends who are “Dreamers” — children brought here by their parents and allowed to stay under the legal status of Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals — or DACA.
“The repeal of DACA was one case that affects many of my very close friends. I find that extremely unacceptable, and last night’s announcement criminalizes the parents and the youth,” said Husni.
The White House says citizenship for DACA won’t happen, and sanctuary cities are a dangled carrot used as a sales pitch enticing immigrants to cross the boarder.
“I think that would be ludicrous,” said Cullinane.
The White House says the listed priorities fulfill the president’s promise on immigration reform. Democrats call it a deal breaker.