After attending the Jewish Federation of Greater MetroWest NJ’s Congressional Candidates Forum on Oct. 8, I am more convinced than ever that Tom Malinowski is the candidate who far better reflects our enduring Jewish values and deserves our vote on Nov. 6.
As NJJN noted, “Welcoming the stranger” (Editorial, June 21) is a core principle of Judaism. The U.S. should be a beacon and safe haven for those fleeing oppression, ethnic and religious persecution, and extreme violence. Many major Jewish organizations have advocated against the “Muslim ban” and in favor of increased refugee admission levels. Yet, while the number of refugees worldwide has grown to more than 65 million, according to HIAS, the Trump administration’s response is to slash refugee admissions to 30,000. This is indeed historic — an historic low.
Incumbent representative Leonard Lance did not criticize this step by the administration. He did not call for an increase in refugee admissions. He stated that he opposed the first Muslim ban, but failed to state that he has no problem with the current travel ban.
He opposes a path to citizenship for Dreamers’ parents (though not opposing residence). His stated reason for this position — that others are waiting in line outside the U.S. for immigrant visas — does not make sense from an immigration law perspective. Allowing eventual naturalization for Dreamers’ parents is not a zero-sum game. It has no effect on the number of Green Cards issued per year. Even if it did, Congress could remedy that.
Therefore, the only logical explanation for his stance is to punish long-time workers for their undocumented situation or to take a position that is more in line with the administration’s, an attitude that does not reflect the compassion toward immigrants espoused by most of the Jewish community.
In stark contrast, Tom Malinowski strongly urges a greater commitment to admitting those in need. He is not afraid to denounce the inhumanity of the administration’s current zero tolerance policy at the border and the extremely tragic lessons of our failure to admit more refugees fleeing Germany and Eastern Europe before and during World War II. His clearly stated position is that the U.S. can and should live up to its ideals, ideals that motivated so many of our ancestors to come here in the first place.