Statement by The New Jersey Alliance for Immigrant Justice on Border Wall Vote

Newark, NJ – July 27, 2017 - On Thursday, the House passed a $789 billion defense spending package, with $1.6 billon of taxpayer money going towards the construction of a border wall along the southwest border of the Unites States.

While the NJIAJ supports our veterans and their equal protection, this bill is nothing more than false military promises to the American people. We are frankly appalled that congress included provisions that had no impact on the wellbeing of our military or the safety of our country. We are more disappointed that they would send 1.6 billion towards something that has been proven by experts not to work. If our elected officials really wanted our safety and that of our veterans, they would support more comprehensive policies that fix a broken immigration system. The truth is, the construction of a border wall is based on mistaken information and myths about immigrants, which are perpetuated by the President’s hateful rhetoric. For generations, immigrants have contributed to the development and global competitiveness of the United States.  The NJIAJ recognizes immigrants to be an integral part of America’s fabric. We will continue to speak against any false narratives that stigmatize immigrants as criminals and intruders.

New Jersey has the third largest percentage of foreign born residents in the nation, our representatives should represent the real needs of our state. Despite this fact, some of our congressmen voted for it anyway. When the bill arrives at the Senate, we urge taxpayers to call their representatives and ask them vote against the measure. Allocating taxpayer money to a wall that won’t do anything instead of addressing the real issues that affect taxpayers is unconscionable. Not only is this expenditure wrong and misguided, it comes after the American people were promised that they would not foot the bill.

To find out how your Congressperson voted, please see below:

Congressman Norcross (D) No
Congressman LoBiondo (R) Yes
Congressman MacArther (R) Yes
Congressman Smith (R) Yes
Congressman Gottheimer (D) Yes
Congressman Pallone (D) No
Congressman Lance (R) Yes
Congressman Sires (D) No
Congressman Pascrell (D) No
Congressman Payne (D) No
Congressman Frelinghuysen (R) Yes
Congresswoman Watson-Coleman (D) No