Former Congressman Sires: Andy Kim Vote to Deny Rent Relief to Undocumented Immigrants During Pandemic a Major Disappointment
WEST NEW YORK, NJ — Longtime former Congressman and West New York Mayor Albio Sires is releasing the following statement in reaction to news stories scrutinizing U.S. Representative Andy Kim’s voting record on immigration matters.
Reporting from the New Jersey Monitor confirms that, “In 2019, [Andy] Kim voted with Republicans against an amendment to a disaster relief bill that would bar those funds from being used to construct a border wall. And in June 2020, he voted in favor of striking language from a bill that would have allowed undocumented immigrants to access federal rental assistance.”
“During the darkest days of the pandemic most Democrats in Congress were focused on making sure that the federal government provided critical relief to people in need, especially low income families, seniors and the most vulnerable,” said Albio Sires. “I was there, and I remember seeing Republicans cynically try to make a political point by excluding undocumented immigrants from rent and utility relief programs. Thankfully, Democrats stood united and defeated that effort, with our entire Democratic New Jersey Congressional delegation voting against the Republican plan to exclude undocumented immigrants — except for Andy Kim, who was one of just a handful of Democrats to vote with Republicans on the motion.
“That vote was a major disappointment and Congressman Kim should have to answer as to why he would vote to leave our hardworking families out on the street during the greatest public health emergency in our history, especially now as he seeks to represent the Latino community and all of New Jersey in the U.S. Senate. It’s not the only time that Andy Kim chose to vote with Trump Republicans on immigration matters and other important issues, and it’s one of the reasons why I’m supporting Tammy Murphy for U.S. Senate.”
At the time, Andy Kim bucked against even Speaker Pelosi, who argued that Democrats should vote as one against GOP messaging votes:
“No, vote no,” [Speaker Pelosi] said. “The fact is a vote yes is to give leverage to the other side, a surrender of the leverage on the other side.” Roll Call, 2/28/2019