For Immediate Release:
January 2, 2024
SUOZZI URGES BIPARTISAN APPROACH TO ADDRESS IMMIGRATION CRISIS
States people are angered by the inaction of their federal government on comprehensive immigration reform and border security.
Minority Leader in Nassau County Legislature Delia DeRiggi-Whitton says of Suozzi Opponent: We can’t wait for her to catch up.
Glen Cove, NY – Today, former Congressman Tom Suozzi called on President Biden, as well as House Speaker Mike Johnson and House Leader Hakeem Jeffries, to find common ground on border safety and immigration reform and urged the passage of bipartisan legislation to solve the migration crisis at the southern border and reform the immigration process.
In separate letters to the President and Speaker Johnson and Minority Leader Jefferies, sent this morning, Suozzi urged that they “prioritize immigration issues” and offered up proposals for a “comprehensive, moderate solution that finally secures our border and recognizes the hardships and suffering that have resulted from the federal government’s decades-long failure to address this very real problem.”
At a Zoom press conference held this morning, Suozzi stated, “The residents of New York’s 3rd Congressional District and the American people are angered by the inaction of their federal government on comprehensive immigration reform and border security.”
Suozzi continued that “one party, one chamber bills will not bring safe borders and immigration reform.” He stressed that “together, we must find common ground and pass a bipartisan, bicameral bill that will secure our borders and finally address the hardships and suffering caused by decades of inaction.”
Suozzi also discussed his prior proposal, crafted with former Republican Congressman Peter King in 2019, to bring “common sense solutions to secure our borders,” including better radar technology, improved ports of entry, enhanced physical barriers, more immigration judges, and more border patrol agents.
During the press conference, Suozzi pointed out that a key component of his 10-Point Plan, released on December 19, 2023, included common-sense measures to address the immigration crisis. Suozzi proposes that Congress provide more border security funding to hire additional border patrol agents, immigration judges, and asylum officers, as well as securing and implementing more smart technology. He also is in favor of enhanced physical barriers and an “Ellis Island” plan to help secure the border and bring order to the current crisis.”
“We should build a new, comprehensive complex at the border to expedite the processing of migrants. We should hire more immigration judges who would rule on asylum cases without delay,” Suozzi stated in his remarks. “Those migrants who have credible claims for asylum would be more effectively processed. And a clear protocol would be put in place to quickly deny entry to those who do not qualify. A workable plan to deport those applicants denied entry would be implemented.”
Joining Suozzi at his press conference, the Minority Leader in the Nassau County Legislature, Delia DeRiggi-Whitton expressed her disappointment in Suozzi’s opponent, Mazi Pilip, who has served for the last two years in the legislature with DeRiggi-Whitton.
“I had hoped that she would be someone who could make a difference in the legislature, someone who would speak up. But I have been so disappointed with her. She has followed the party line on every vote. She is not, in any way, proactive,” DeRiggi-Whitton said.
The Minority Leader added that “at our recent budget meetings, Pilip never even asked a single question.”
“I’ve tried reaching out to her, tried to engage her in conversation, and she’s never tried to even speak with me,” revealed DeRiggi-Whitton. “That’s not the kind of Congressperson this district needs,” she added.
Pilip’s unwillingness to discuss important issues or policy, as well as her refusal to debate, has been noted in news accounts of her candidacy. Newsday recently reported that, in the county legislature, “a review of two years’ worth of transcripts shows Pilip speaks much less frequently than her colleagues. At many meetings, the only words she said into her microphone were “here” during roll call attendance and “aye” during vote tallies.”
When asked specifically which of Pilip’s votes troubled her, DeRiggi-Whitton replied,
“Democrats recently proposed a budget amendment to bolster the Nassau County Police Department by hiring 100 new police officers, and Mazi Pilip voted ‘NO,’ along with every other Republican.”
“She had the chance to stand up for the people of Nassau, and instead, she stood down for her party. She had a chance to show her independence, a chance to vote for 100 new cops, and she refused,” DeRiggi-Whitton added later.
DeRiggi-Whitton concluded her remarks by saying, “We have lost a year of representation in Congress with George Santos. We can’t afford to lose any more time. We can’t wait for Mazi Pilip to ‘catch up.’ She later added, “We need someone in Congress like Tom Suozzi, who knows exactly how things work in Congress, or should I say, don’t work. Tom Suozzi can fix it.”
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.