Newark, N.J. – Lt. Gov. Kim Guadagno, the Republican candidate for New Jersey governor, released a TV ad that alleges her opponent, Democrat Phil Murphy, would protect undocumented immigrants who commit crimes. She disingenuously includes a video clip of Murphy saying “my bias is going to be having their back” while images of a gang who shot down four students in 2007 plays in the background.
It is an attack on people of color who were not born in this country. It brings back memories of the 1988 anti-Michael Dukakis “Willie Horton” ad that has long been condemned as racist.
“I work hard cleaning offices and have worked full-time for several years,” said Maximo Rodriquez, a 32BJ SEIU member who lives in Trenton. “What Kim Guadagno said about immigrants in her ‘sanctuary’ ad is wrong. We’re not criminals.” Rodriguez was born in the Dominican Republic and is a U.S. citizen.
Rodriquez is among the one in five voters in New Jersey who are naturalized citizens or children of immigrants. And nearly 30% of New Jersey’s businesses are immigrant run, and immigrants contribute billions to the state’s economy.
“This ad is disgraceful. It accuses undocumented immigrants of being criminals, murderers and drug-dealers. It’s from the Christie/Trump playbook: pitting ‘us’ against ‘them.’ As Phil Murphy has said, that’s truly un-American,” said Kevin Brown, Vice President and NJ State Director of 32BJ SEIU.
With 163,000 members in eleven states and Washington, D.C., including 12,000 in New Jersey, 32BJ SEIU is the largest property service workers union in the country.