And we’re back with Broad + Liberty’s Candidate Spotlight Series! Each week, we reach out to candidates all across the Commonwealth up for election to public office — an equal number of Democrats and Republicans; incumbents and challengers. We ask one question per week about public policy pressing to you. Those who choose to respond will have their answers shared on our website every week. (Please see a special statement on unresponsive candidates here.)

Earlier this week, nominees for U.S. Senate shared their thoughts on illegal immigration. Today, our nominees for Governor weigh in.

If you are a candidate for public office in Pennsylvania and would like to participate, please reach out to

This week’s question: Border state governors have made headlines by transporting undocumented immigrants to various “sanctuary cities” in the north. How should the growing crisis at the border be handled, and should the burden be shared across the nation?

Josh Shapiro (D)

Through multiple Republican and Democratic administrations, the federal government has repeatedly failed to pass comprehensive immigration reform and fix our broken immigration system. There is bipartisan blame to go around and it’s urgent that our representatives in Washington, D.C. work across the aisle to finally do something about this issue.  

We need comprehensive immigration reform that fixes this system, ensures our communities are safe, and does not leave any state with an oversized responsibility that should be handled by Washington, D.C.

Come back tomorrow to read the response from Josh Shapiro’s running mate, Austin Davis.

Doug Mastriano (R)

President Biden has neglected the porous southern border, and illegal immigrants have been transited into towns across Pennsylvania. After a whistleblower came forward about a flight of illegals into Lehigh Valley earlier this year, I issued a report using DHS documents showing that these ICE flights have been going on for over a year across the state.

Biden’s reversal of successful policies put into place by the Trump Administration has had predictable results. There were over 2 million illegal crossings in 2021. During the first hours of his presidency, Biden stopped construction of the southern border wall. Despite what pundits claim, walls actually work. That’s evidenced by the fact that illegal crossings have historically dropped instantly in sectors of the border where the wall has been completed.

Illegal immigration drives up welfare and education costs and lowers wages for blue collar jobs. Illegal immigration costs Pennsylvania taxpayers $1.3 billion annually. That amounts to a burden of $273 per household. We need to act at the state level to curtail illegal immigration, since the federal government won’t do its job.

When I am Governor, Pennsylvania will never be a sanctuary state and I’ll hold elected officials accountable if they refuse to cooperate with immigration enforcement agencies. 

On day one, I’ll send immediate notice to the federal government informing them that Pennsylvania will no longer receive chartered flights or buses with illegal immigrant passengers. I’ll ban the use of public benefits for illegal immigrants and sign legislation that strengthens and expands the “E-Verify” law to ensure employers cannot hire illegal immigrants.

I’ll also support placing a fee on the millions of dollars in remittances that are sent out of state by non-citizens and use that new revenue to provide tax relief for legal citizens.

Come back tomorrow to read the response from Doug Mastriano’s running mate, Carrie Lewis DelRosso.

Broad + Liberty is a nonprofit media endeavor dedicated to sharing voices and stories that are shut out of other media outlets. @BroadAndLiberty

2 thoughts on “Gubernatorial Candidate Spotlight: Illegal Immigration”

  1. Well at least there is an exchange of ideas from both sides in the governor’s race. Mastriano has been noticeably missing in the others. I like about 85% of what he said, but someone on his staff should educate the man that the state of PA has no power to impose fees on remittances going out of the state – this is not within him purview and is ridiculous to even propose. Comprehensive immigration reform is an ideal, but individual steps are possible if both sides in Congress decide to stop using it a wedge issue. Trump proposed an amnesty for all DACA if the other side would give him the wall on the border. The Democrats turned it down. So much for their concern for DACA recipients. Let’s face it folks, both sides use people issues to get elected – serving the needs of the people are secondary.

  2. How about just enforcing the immigration laws on the books. changing the laws to give amnesty and citizenship to those who crossed out borders illegally is not a solution.

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