Monday 25 September 2023

‘Perennial Dumping Ground’: Biden’s Border Crisis Has Democrats Playing Defense Ahead Of Blue State Elections

 Democratic lawmakers in New Jersey are rejecting a Biden administration proposal to house migrants in Atlantic City ahead of the state’s contentious elections, Politico reported on Monday.

The Biden administration is considering relocating a large swath of migrants from New York City to 11 potential locations, including the Atlantic City International Airport. Democratic New Jersey Gov. Phil Murphy and other state democratic lawmakers have rejected the proposal, fearing it might reflect on the party negatively and hurt them ahead of the state’s elections, according to Politico. 

“I don’t see any scenario where we’re going to be able to take in a program in Atlantic City, or frankly elsewhere in the state,” Murphy said during an interview with News 12 New Jersey. “You need scale, enormous amount of federal support – resources that go beyond anything that we can afford.”

State lawmakers fear that an influx of migrants will further strain an already poor Atlantic City, given the fallout from casino closures that previously helped prop up the county’s economy, according to Politico. The proposal to house migrants in the city’s airport could also stunt local officials’ plan to position it as one of the region’s biggest economic engines.

“A disruptive incursion of this type would negatively impact our region and residents,” three Democratic legislature candidates – Atlantic County Commissioner Caren Fitzpatrick, Alphonso Harrell and Lisa Bender – said in a statement, according to New Jersey Globe.

“Atlantic City has been a perennial dumping ground,” Mayor Marty Small Sr. said at an early September press conference, where he called the Biden administration’s proposal “idiotic.”

Democratic state lawmakers’ rejection of the proposal comes ahead of the state’s 2024 elections, in which all seats 12o in the state legislature will be up for grabs, according to Politico. Despite a current majority in the state Senate and Assembly, Democrats fear losing support in New Jersey as Biden’s approval ratings in the state have spiraled.

“Those smug, pompous individuals that wanted to show they were so much better, so much more compassionate than [Trump] when they wanted to make their states a sanctuary state and their cities sanctuary cities — be careful what you wish for,” Republican Atlantic County Executive Dennis Levinson told Politico.

“The issue of migrants, an out-of-control border and the problems that are now emanating from sanctuary city policies are now inexorably tied to Democrats,” Chris Russell, a New Jersey Republican consultant, told Politico. “This is a Democrat problem that they have, and they own it lock stock and barrel.”

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