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.)
If you are a candidate for public office in Pennsylvania and would like to participate, please reach out to email@example.com.
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?
Broad + Liberty thanks the following campaigns for their participation. Click a link below to jump to the response from your district’s candidate!
- Christian Nascimento (R), Running for U.S. Congress, District 4
- David Galluch (R), Running for U.S. Congress, District 5
Christian Nascimento (R), Running for U.S. Congress, District 4
The border crisis is a federal issue, and one that has festered and metastasized due to inaction on the part of the Biden administration and Congress. Arrests along the Mexico border have topped 2 million a year for the first time, and there were 200,000 encounters along the southern border in July alone, according to U.S. Customs and Border Patrol.
As a first generation American, the issue of immigration is important to me. Our country needs comprehensive immigration reform, which should include:
- Increased funding for personnel and equipment (drones, sensors, etc.) to secure the southern border. The United States needs an orderly flow of people into the country for security reasons, and we need to understand who is coming, why, and for how long. Control the flow of people coming into the country, and we will eliminate bottlenecks further in the process.
- Faster and better adjudication of migrants claiming refugee or asylum status, and better enforcement of that adjudication. It makes no sense for a migrant to receive a hearing date six months or more in the future, and then be released into the US with only a promise to return at that date. With today’s technology, we ought to be able to quickly determine if there is a true reason for asylum, and if not, those individuals should be returned to their country of origin.
- Eliminate sanctuary cities. The idea that a US city would publicly state that they will not cooperate with federal law enforcement strains the boundaries of common sense. Can there be any surprise when a southern border state, whose own infrastructure is taxed by this increase in immigration, sends migrants to a northern “sanctuary city”?
- Finally, both sides need to stop using this issue as a political wedge and start working together to solve this problem. Flights of migrants, whether by a Democratic president or a Republican governor, will only enflame the issue if we don’t actually try to solve it.
Ronald Reagan said of his “Shining City on a Hill” that “if there had to be city walls, the walls had doors and the doors were open to anyone with the will and the heart to get here.”
If we work together, we can ensure that is a reality, and we can get back to growing our American experiment with legal immigration, and welcome those that choose to come here through the proper channels — just as the country welcomed my father and his family many years ago.
Christian Nascimento’s opponent, Madeleine Dean, did not respond.
David Galluch (R), Running for U.S. Congress, District 5
Simply put, you cannot have a secure nation without protected borders. For generations, immigrants, who have made this country what it is today, followed a legal pathway to citizenship. The mass influx of illegal immigrants through our southern border has created an unimaginable humanitarian crisis for those entering illegally and for our country. Joe Biden’s immigration policy, supported by Congresswoman Mary Gay Scanlon, is a failure, plain and simple.
In 2021, our southern border saw more illegal crossings and apprehensions than ever before. So far in 2022, U.S. Customs and Border Patrol (CBP) has apprehended more migrants at the southern border than in all of 2021. Securing our border and bringing order to our immigration system is of paramount importance.
In Congress, I will work to empower our Customs and Border Patrol Agents by arming them with the resources and technology they need — including physical barriers where they deem them necessary — to keep drugs, criminals, terrorists, and other threats to the American people out of our nation. Unlike my opponent, Mary Gay Scanlon, who has likened Border Patrol agents to officers in Nazi Germany “just following orders,” I support and will work collaboratively with CBP to truly solve problems.
Those who are coming to our country illegally are facing heinous conditions before they reach the border that include health issues, crime, rape, and are often forced into human trafficking and sex trades to appease the Cartel for passage.
Right here in PA-05, we are seeing the effects of an unsustainable border policy as we see a massive spike in illegal drugs, most notably fentanyl. The opioid crisis is destroying families and is directly tied to a porous border through which drugs and those who traffic them flow freely. In order to combat this crisis, no stone must be left unturned. This starts with commonsense reforms that secure our border and ports of entry and encourage a comprehensive law enforcement and public health strategy to prevent these drugs from ravaging our families and communities.
Lastly, we must craft a better immigration system that prioritizes and preserves our sovereignty, security, and the rule of law while remaining true to our core principles and history as a welcoming nation. Like so many others, I am a descendant of immigrants. My first ancestor arrived in America in 1630, my last in 1911. Instead of creating an environment that incentivizes illegal border crossings and drugs to come into our country, we need to secure our border, supply those who guard it with the resources they need, and provide pathways for people to come to America safely and legally.
David Galluch’s opponent, Mary Gay Scanlon, chose not to respond.
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