So far in New York’s special congressional elections, Democrats have a huge advertising advantage. But according to GOP ads seen by voters, Republicans see immigration and border security as potential weak spots for Democratic candidate Tom Suozzi.
“Tom Suozzi Rolls Out the Red Carpet for Illegal Immigrants” ad the narrator says.
“Another murder has been committed. Another illegal immigrant was arrested. Like radicals because it has an open border [Gov. Kathy] Chosen candidate by Hochul, Tom Suozzi. other rails.
Suozzi, a former member of the House of Representatives, is running against Republican Mazi Melesa Philip in the Feb. 13 special election. It’s a district that voted for President Joe Biden by 8 points in 2020, but has seen steady Republican gains since then. And Philip’s allies point to the votes Suozzi received while a member of Congress against The No Sanctuary for Criminals Act would expand the scope of law enforcement activities related to immigration and sanctuary cities.
Republicans also quote his public rhetoric as he told audiences 2022 Democratic gubernatorial primary debate he “kicked ICE out of Nassau County.” (Suozzi Thursday argued that the ads took that comment out of context.)
Republicans are running up and down the ballot in what could be a preview of what to expect in the 2024 general election. Former President Donald Trump and other GOP presidential candidates have spoken out against Biden and the flow of migrants to the border for years. Voters are paying attention even far across the border: In New York, more than 80% of registered voters statewide say the recent influx of migrants is a serious problem. Siena College questionnaire held earlier this month.
“Make no mistake about it. It’s a crisis that’s straining resources around the state,” David Laska, communications director for the New York State Republican Party, told NBC News.
The Siena poll also found that 59% of registered voters disapprove of the job Hochul, a Democrat, is doing to address the recent influx of migrants to New York.
Ads run by Philip’s allies, including the National Republican Congressional Committee, linked Suozzi to Hochul’s handling of the immigration crisis.
There may be another weakness for Suozzi A letter he signed when he was a congressman in 2022, Rep. Cory Bush, D-Mo. and along with dozens of others. The letter urged the Biden administration to repeal Title 42, a measure enacted during the pandemic that allows border patrol agents to deport migrants seeking asylum back to their home countries or to Mexico.
“It’s a big issue in the 3rd Congressional District, both in Queens and in Nassau. He [Suozzi] Nassau County Republican Chairman Joe Cairo said, adding, “Tom Suozzi is on the wrong side of this issue. The people of the county don’t agree with him, and we’ll see that in early voting and when Election Day comes out. We’ll see where they stand.”
While Democrats have focused on other issues, Republicans dominated advertising on the issue in Nassau County before Suozzi entered the race this week.
In an ad aired by his campaign, a narrator tells viewers, “You’ve heard a lot of nonsense blaming Tom Suozzi for the migrant problem. Really?”
The ad features a 2018 Fox News clip of Suozzi defending the Immigration and Customs Enforcement agency, and continues with the speaker saying, “Tom Suozzi will work with both parties to close illegal immigration lanes, but for those who follow the rules will pave the way for citizenship. .”
In a second ad released Wednesday, Suozzi addresses voters directly to the camera: “The southern border is 2,000 miles away. But the migrant crisis has landed right in our own backyard,” and repeated his pledge to work across the aisle to solve the crisis.
A Democratic strategist who works on House campaigns told NBC News: “Republicans are trying to replicate the successful attack in 2022. All the Republicans in Long Island and Westchester were talking about crime in New York and using it as a prop. .”
Suozzi echoed that sentiment at a press conference on Thursday. “My opponent is very good at explaining to all of us what the problem is,” he said. “We all know what the problem is! What are you going to do about it?”
He added: “I have offered concrete ideas on what needs to be done to solve the problems we face. He didn’t exist.”
The Democratic strategist added that the migrant crisis may not hit home particularly hard for voters in Nassau County in this race, saying: “As a result of sending migrants to New York, zero of them have been sent to Long Island.”
On the other hand, New York City local news is widely used on Long Island.
“No one buys it,” Laska, the state GOP, responded, adding, “How many people in Nassau County take the train to New York every day for work? Right? And they see what’s happening on the ground.”
According to him, Republicans are telling voters that if their communities don’t have a migrant crisis, it’s because of Republican elected officials.
“The reason many districts don’t have a problem like strain on resources is because you have county-level officials — mostly Republicans — who refuse to transport illegal immigrants from New York City to other parts of the state. Laska added.
Cairo agreed, adding that the migrant crisis is hitting home with voters this spring.
“People are upset,” he said. “This is not about something that happened in Texas or the Southwest. It’s in Nassau County and northeast of Queens.”