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Tom Suozzi vows to secure border in campaign ad for George Santos’ empty House seat

January 16, 2024

Publication: NY Post

By: Carl Campanile

Former Rep. Tom Suozzi opened his campaign headquarters in Great Neck on Jan. 14, 2024. John Roca
Former Rep. Tom Suozzi opened his campaign headquarters in Great Neck on Jan. 14, 2024. John Roca

The migrant crisis is emerging as the dominant issue in the Feb. 13 special House election to succeed expelled lying ex-Rep. George Santos.

One day after getting tarred as “Sanctuary Suozzi” by a Super PAC supporting Republican contender Mazi Pilip, Democrat former Rep. Tom Suozzi put out his own campaign ad vowing to get tough on illegal immigration and help “secure our border” if he wins back his old House seat.

Suozzi also said he’d seek a “path to citizenship” for millions of undocumented residents — a middle ground opposed by conservatives as amnesty rewarding illegal behavior.

The 30-second, six-figure ad — that will appear on both cable TV as well as digital media — shows Suozzi sitting in a lawn chair in a backyard with a white picket fence.

“The southern border is 2,000 miles away, but the migrant crisis has landed right in our own backyard,” he says.

“I’ll work across the aisle to do what our leaders haven’t — secure our border. Close the routes used for illegal immigration, but open paths to citizenship for those willing to follow the rules and pay a fee to help finance it all,” he adds.

The video then pans to a couple with two kids, representing an immigrant family.

Suozzi’s campaign has emphasized that during his time in Congress, he worked with former popular Long Island Republican Rep. Peter King on border legislation — and claimed that their man has supported a “common sense” approach to immigration.

“I’ll work with anyone to get it done,” Suozzi concludes the ad, while closing the door to the picket fence.

Pilip’s camp said Tuesday Suozzi is running scared of being held accountable for his role in encouraging illegal immigration.

“No amount of political spin can change the fact that Tom Suozzi is the godfather of the border crisis,” said Pilip campaign communications director Brian Devine. “Not only was he Joe Biden’s full partner in creating the border crisis, Suozzi kicked ICE out of Nassau County when he was County Executive, and he established one of the first migrant centers for illegal immigrants in his hometown of Glen Cove.

“Welcoming illegal migrants is just another notch in his dismal record, and now he’s doing all he can to distance himself from it. Voters in CD-3 see right through Tom Suozzi’s charade,” added Devine.

Suozzi has sought to get in front of anticipated criticism from the right on migration, writing in a Jan. 2 letter to President Biden that the feds have left New York City and other cities in the lurch without resources to absorb an unrelenting wave of new arrivals swamping their municipalities.

The Feb. 13 special election is being closely watched nationally as a potential harbinger to determine which party will secure majority control of the House of Representatives in the Nov. 5 elections. The GOP currently holds a very slim majority of 220-213 with two vacancies.

Suozzi, 61, previously served three terms in the House, repping much of Nassau County and portions of Eastern Queens. He decided not to seek re-election in 2022 and instead ran for governor, losing badly to Gov. Kathy Hochul in the Democratic primary.

Santos won the seat Suozzi vacated, defeating Democratic communications executive Robert Zimmerman.

Pilip, 44, is a two-term Nassau County legislator and mother of seven children. An Ethiopia native, she emigrated to Israel at the age of 12 and served in the Israel Defense Forces (IDF) before moving to the US with her husband.

Santos became the sixth member ever to be expelled from the US House of Representatives Dec. 1, a little more than a year after winning election despite fabricating much of his personal and professional history.

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