Pilip endorsed by border patrol union days after denouncing border deal

Pilip endorsed by border patrol union days after denouncing border deal
Nassau County Legislator Mazi Melesa Pilip (R-Great Neck). (Photo courtesy of the candidate)

Republican candidate in New York’s 3rd Congressional District special election Mazi Pilip has garnered the endorsement by the National Border Patrol Council, coming amidst her rejection of the Senate’s bipartisan border deal the council supported.

“Tom Suozzi and Joe Biden recklessly opened our southern border without having any sort of immigration policy in place,” Pilip said. “Their reckless actions have not served the needs of the migrants and have adversely affected neighborhoods across our state and country. Joe Biden and Tom Suozzi created this crisis by establishing open borders and voting in support of funding for sanctuary cities. I will fight to secure our borders and give border agents and asylum processors the tools that they need to perform their jobs. Once again, I am so proud to receive their endorsement”

Former Democratic Congressman Tom Suozzi and Republican Nassau County Legislator Pilip are facing off in a Feb. 13 special election, which could determine the balance of power in the House with Republicans clinging to a tiny majority.

The endorsement was announced at a Wednesday press conference in front of a migrant “tent city” with the Republican candidate joined by President Brandon Judd and Vice President Hector Garza of the National Border Patrol Council.

The National Border Patrol Council is a labor union representing United States Border Patrol agents and support staff.

“The sanctuary city policies of Tom Suozzi and the Biden administration still encourage thousands of migrants to cross the border each day, and we need a representative in Congress who will prioritize securing the border, allocating the proper resources, and resuming construction of the wall, all things Mazi supports,” Judd said. “Mazi will be a powerful voice in Congress for securing our southern border, supporting and funding law enforcement, and putting the safety of local families first.”

Pilip’s campaign said the endorsement is a testament to her being the sole candidate that has historically been pro-law enforcement and “denounced the open borders and sanctuary city policies of Tom Suozzi and Joe Biden that have resulted in this national crisis.”

Suozzi said he was not surprised by the endorsement, calling the union one of former president Donald Trump’s “most reliable partners.” He said despite Pilip and the union disagreeing on the border deal, the endorsement is a result of the union seeking to endorse a Trump-aligned candidate.

“It’s not surprising, but it points to a broken system,” Suozzi said.

Suozzi, who has also touted his pro-law enforcement stance, called Pilip’s press conference “bizarre” notably due to the union’s support for the border deal and Pilip’s denouncement of it.

“In the final days of this race, Mazi Pilip is showing her true colors,” Suozzi said. “After saying absolutely nothing of substance for the past two months, Pilip is now against the bipartisan compromise that offers our best chance at securing the border in forty years. She’s endorsing chaos at the border because she believes it will help her and Donald Trump politically.”

The endorsement came days after a bipartisan national security bill was unveiled in the Senate, which provided a historical toughening of the country’s southern border while also providing aid to Ukraine and Israel.

Pilip joined fellow Republicans in denouncing the border deal, calling it a “nonstarter” that would legalize “the invasion currently happening at our southern border.”

“I do not support what amounts to the legalization of the invasion of our country,” Pilip said.

Suozzi called Pilip’s use of the word “invasion” to describe the crisis dangerous.

“She’s doing it because she’s consistently beholden to the national Republicans and like them she’s only interested in playing politics with people’s lives instead of working to solve problems,” Suozzi said.

Suozzi called Pilip’s stance an appeasement to GOP extremists as the U.S. Senate prepared to take a vote that killed the measure.

“I have made it clear that I will do anything and work with anyone to put forth bipartisan solutions to fix our border in order to get results for the people of Nassau County and Queens,” Suozzi said. “People are tired of this political theater from both parties, and they want results.”

Pilip criticized the cost of the migrant crisis, quoting New York City Mayor Eric Adams who said it may cost $12 billion in taxpayer money through 2025.

While Gov. Kathy Hochul’s 2025 budget proposes $2.4 billion for migrant services, Pilip has also criticized this for taking away funding in other areas.

This has specifically been compared to the state’s proposed school aid, which Pilip and other Long Island Republicans have denounced in decreasing school funding through the proposed elimination of foundation aid.

Despite drops in foundation aid for some schools, North Shore schools are predominantly seeing increases in their state aid.

Early voting for New York’s 3rd Congressional District has begun, with a full list of polling locations able to be found on the county Board of Election websites, and will continue through Feb. 11. Voting will resume on Feb. 13, election day, with polling locations also able to be found on the Board of Election website.

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