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For Immediate Release:
February 8, 2024

NY-03 Debate: Pilip Grandstands on Immigration

Glen Cove, NY – On immigration in tonight’s debate, Mazi Pilip simply repeated tired talking points, offered no solutions, and had no explanation for her opposition to the bipartisan Senate bill on the border.

Suozzi called Pilip out multiple times on exactly what she’d do to solve our broken immigration system, asking her “You say there’s a crisis at the border, over and over. We all know this. What would you do?” Pilip had no answer.


QUESTION: “You’ve said repeatedly that it’s your number one priority – to secure our border. What specifically would you do to make the border and our country safer?”


SUOZZI: “Ms. Pilip points out there’s a problem, there’s a problem, there’s a problem. She has no solutions. There’s a solution that’s been proposed in the United States Senate that would actually build more wall, would get more border agents, would deal with asylum seekers, would reform the laws to make it better and would actually get money to the State of New York and the City of New York to deal with the migrant crisis that we currently have. … The reality is, and I know how government works, I know how to get things done, I know who to talk to and how to stop things and how to make things happen. My opponent in this race is very good at pointing out the problems, the problems, the problems – except her opposition to this bipartisan deal will result in the border staying open for years and years and years and more migrants coming to New York. She has no solutions whatsoever. Just, ‘There’s a problem, there’s a problem, oh by the way it’s a really big problem.’ That’s not enough. That’s not how you govern – that’s not how you get things done.”


SUOZZI: “So, George Santos got elected by lying about his record. Pilip wants to get elected by lying about me. The reality is that in 2007, my police commissioner came to me and said these guys are breaking the rules. They had 96 warrants. They went to 90 wrong addresses and broke down peoples’ doors. They pulled guns on Nassau County Police officers. He said I can’t work with these guys. So my Police Commissioner asked me to stop working with ICE. Would you deny your police commissioner asked me to stop working with ICE? Would you deny your police commissioner? … Would you say to your police commissioner, ‘Oh I don’t want to listen to you, Police Commissioner. It’s ok that they’re breaking the rules and ruining our attempts to do community policing?’ I reduced the crime rate to the lowest crime rate in the United States of America of any community of over 500,000 people. The lowest crime rate in the history of Nassau County when I was the County Executive. … In 2018, when I was in Congress, I was one of only 18 Democrats that voted to fund ICE. When people said, ‘Let’s abolish ICE,’ I was only one of 18 Democrats, I went against my party to say, ‘We’re not going to abolish ICE. We have to support ICE. We have to support law enforcement.’ So for you to suggest that I’m a member of the Squad is about as believable as you saying you’re a member of George Santos’ volleyball team. It’s just not credible.”

PILIP: “…It doesn’t matter what the commissioner would tell you. In the end, you make that decision.”

SUOZZI: “I just want to point out that Ms. Pilip just said I should overrule my police commissioner when it comes to law enforcement. So let’s just make that clear. I’ve been doing government as a mayor and as a county executive and Member of Congress. I had to get things done. I did reduce the crime rate. I did support ICE when it was necessary. And you’re saying, let’s ignore the police commissioner and deny what he said.”

Suozzi vs. Pilip on Immigration:

  • New York Daily News on Suozzi:
    • “On immigration and the migrant crisis, we’d also be loath to forget the years Suozzi spent sketching out immigration compromises with former colleague, Republican Pete King. The GOP can attack him, falsely, for his supposedly weak stance on the border, but Suozzi has actually tried to build legislative deals on the issue, as opposed to the current House Republicans’ total obstruction, to the point that they’ve practically walked away from negotiations completely despite getting the policies they claim to want.”
  • Newsday on Pilip:
    • “Would she support granting legal status to those brought here as minors?…What is her position on family reunification?…She hasn’t answered these questions.”
  • Island 360 on Pilip:
  • “Trump has been reported to be pressuring Republicans to oppose the legislation so he can campaign on immigration during the presidential race.

This means that what the Republicans are calling a crisis of migrants crossing the southern border and an influx of fentanyl that is killing many Americans will continue for the next year. So Trump as well as Pilip would have a campaign issue.


Tom Suozzi, trained as an attorney and CPA, is the former Congressman for New York’s 3rd Congressional District, Nassau County Executive, and Mayor of Glen Cove. Tom has committed his 30-year public service career to delivering for his constituents. His philosophy of working with anyone who shares his goal of solving problems and delivering for his constituents has guided his career and led to notable accomplishments on issues including protecting the environment, common-sense gun safety, full access to reproductive health care, immigration, caring for our veterans, affordable healthcare, and fiscal responsibility.

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