Rob Astorino urges Lee Zeldin to do more for migrant flights at latest GOP governor debate

Former Westchester County executive Rob Astorino and Rep. Lee Zeldin clashed Monday night at the last GOP gubernatorial debate ahead of the June 28 GOP primary over secret flights bringing migrants from the southern border.

“I’m the only one sounding the alarm about this,” Astorino said, citing his continued calls for Democratic Gov. Kathy Hochul to ask the federal government for more details on the arrivals.

Recent flights to the northern suburbs of New York City include “single adult males” who Astorino claims were not properly screened. She and younger migrants being transported by the flights, meanwhile, also divert sources from lawful residents, according to Astorino.

“You then get cash backing in this $2 billion fund from New York. The ones that are here, and they’re older, they get Medicare from New York. It’s not even allowed by the federal government, but New York is picking up the tab,” he said Monday night.

Rob Astorino
Rob Astorino claimed he was the only candidate concerned about migrants coming across the southern border.

A multibillion-dollar Excluded Workers Fund was set up by the Albany Democrats to provide cash assistance to undocumented people who can use a variety of papers to prove state residency and eligibility.

Monday night’s exchange over the issue of migrant flights was one of many examples of Zeldin’s main rivals Astorino, businessman Harry Wilson and former White House adviser Andrew Giuliani attempting to oust Zeldin ahead of the final day of voting on June 28 to set a foot.

“It’s a national security issue. This is also a financial issue as it affects everyone, everywhere,” Astorino said during the hour-long slugfest hosted by Newsmax.

“But you’re a member of Congress, Lee, you should do something,” he added.

Lee Zeldin
Zeldin is the front-runner in the GOP primary for New York state governor.

Zeldin — the putative front runner based on polls, endorsements and fundraising — deflected the barb by voicing his support for the immigration policies championed by former President Donald Trump.

“We should have finished building the border wall. We should have strengthened internal enforcement. We should support our ICE and our customs and our border patrol instead of throwing them under the bus like the Biden administration did,” Zeldin said.

The Long Island congressman, recently endorsed by the Post editorial board, then tried to thwart Astorino by citing other threats coming to New York State because of lax border policies.

“I have campaigned to shut down the Biden administration’s travel agencies, where they pay for flights they give them with phones and other goodies. We should not reward and encourage illegal postings. It’s not just people coming over. It’s fentanyl and it’s killing our children, so we need to see Congress take action once the house falls this November,” Zeldin said. Rob Astorino urges Lee Zeldin to do more for migrant flights at latest GOP governor debate


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