By Cristofer Urías
New Brunswick, NJ
Daryl Kipnis, a Republican candidate for Congress in New Jersey’s 12th district, promised earlier this month to welcome immigrant families to a better life in the United States while also securing the border.
Kipnis, who is challenging Democratic Rep. Bonnie Watson Coleman, said in a press conference that he supports a pathway to citizenship for young undocumented immigrants known as “Dreamers.” An attorney who has worked on immigration cases, he lamented the high fees required to become a citizen, and said he wanted to reduce those costs.
Unlike the president, he also opposes the mass deportation of undocumented immigrants. “There needs to be a more practical way,’’ Kipnis said. But he did not provide specifics about his plan for the “safety of our borders.”
Kipnis also criticized the clash between Democrats and Republicans in Congress, decrying the “adversarial” culture of American politics. The lack of cooperation between the two parties, he said, is an “animosity contest.’’ Kipnis said this dissonance affected any possible solution on immigration.
“Even the President wants a reform,’’ he said. But he ultimately blamed the impasse on Democrats’ refusal to cooperate, admitting that a resolution seemed very far from happening.
Kipnis, a self-proclaimed moderator of parties, said that his purpose on immigration proposals was to keep the “bad” immigrants out and allow the “good” to remain in the country.
He also said he does not favor overturning Roe v. Wade, unlike most Republicans currently in Congress. While he made clear that he personally opposes abortion, “as a champion of individual liberty it is not my place to tell people what to do,” he said.
Kipnis also said he would be “open to” raising the minimum wage, though, as with immigration, he did not provide a specific plan. He suggested some economic hardship could be relieved by a “rainy-day fund” that would not be taxed. “My focus is what’s going on in your life and how I can help you,” he said.