HomeImmigrationNew Jersey mayor gets backlash for comments about migrants

New Jersey mayor gets backlash for comments about migrants

Edison Mayor Sam Joshi of New Jersey is defending his comments that migrants bused to his town by Republican governors “are not welcomed” in his city.

The Indian American and a Democrat made his remarks the week 1,200 migrants arrived by bus. All of them were sent by Texas Governor Greg Abbott who has decided to send his border state problem to Democratic-run cities.

New Jersey has become a stopover on the way to New York city by charter bus companies hired by Abbott to circumvent a New York law that requires advanced notice before any migrants are dropped off in their city.

“Our position in Edison Township is that they’re not welcome here … They’re illegal, and they belong on the other side of the border … We don’t want them in Edison, period. That’s the bottom line,” Joshi said, the New Jersey Spotlight reported.

According to State of the Union, Joshi’s plan is to send these migrants back to the border and not make them a burden on other cities.

Joshi called it a health and safety issue saying local police couldn’t identify the migrants or determine if they had any weapons.

It’s “a major security risk. It’s a health risk. And we’re just not going to tolerate that.”

Some accuse Joshi of forgetting his roots. His parents both immigrated from India. Edison’s population is nearly 50 percent Asian.

Jeffrey Chang of AAPI New Jersey says the U.S. has a history of a “pernicious and discriminatory exclusion” of Asian Americans that shouldn’t be forgotten.

“That’s very much has been part of our history. So that’s an important backdrop,” Chang said.

Assemblyperson Sadam Jaffer, who is Muslim and a Democrat, says Joshi’s comments come out of a place of ignorance.

“If you look at the history of immigration in this country, and especially the ways in which nonwhite people were kept out, I don’t think that you can create this dichotomy — this, like, wall between the people who come here ‘the right way’ and the people who are undocumented. And migration is a fact of life,” said Jaffer, to the Spotlight.

The New Jersey Monitor reported that during the same week, the busloads arrived in Edison, other migrants arrived from Texas to Trenton and Secaucus as well.

“These are real people passing through, and there needs to be more conversation about how welcoming we are and how ready we are to receive them and provide resources to these people,” said Nedia Morsey of Make the Road New Jersey, an immigrant advocacy group based in Elizabeth.

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3 COMMENTS

  1. Look, we have homelessness all over in NJ. Why encourage ppl to come her illegally and receive benefits that under served ppl that are already dealing with. This Edison mayor gets crucified for speaking the truth. My family came here in 1912 through Ellis Island, passed a rigorous physical had to have a destination a job and become a citizen in 5 years. They did all that. What about the immigrants that came here legally , took years to come here the legal way. Do we just spit on them by allowing thousands of new needy ppl come here illegally and receive more benefit then our homeless Americans including our Veterans? Whats wrong here???

  2. If you want to engage more people with your cause, you should try for a higher level of thought in your written pieces. Saying “ All of them were sent by Texas Governor Greg Abbott who has decided to send his border state problem to Democratic-run cities.” is just awful. It’s not Greg Abbott’s problem, it’s whole US problem.
    Lazy thinking and trying to frame everything as racist does not bring solutions.

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