Democrat Suozzi running for George Santos seat takes heat for 2019 post on ICE amid New York’s migrant crisis

New York Democrat Tom Suozzi, running in a special election next week for former Rep. George Santos’ vacant seat, is taking heat from his opponent over a resurfaced social media post in which he shared a guide appearing to instruct migrants on how to deal with ICE agents in the event of raids promised by then-President Trump in 2019. 

Suozzi, who previosly represented New York’s 3rd Congressional District for six years during a lengthy career in Long Island politics, wrote on Facebook on July 12, 2019, announcing that he would be traveling to Texas later that day “to shine a light on the conditions at migrant detention centers at our southern border.” 

“Meanwhile, the President is threatening to launch massive raids targeting thousands of immigrants. This is just wrong! People should not have to live in constant fear, nor should they be used as pawns,” Suozzi wrote, referring to Trump. “Our nation is founded on the basic idea that EVERY person has rights. Know yours.” 

The post, which was still visible on the “Rep. Tom Suozzi” Facebook account as of Tuesday morning, added, “Attached, please see a list of what you can do if ICE comes knocking.” 

It included a guide branded by the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) titled “If ICE Agents Show Up At Your Door.” It says, “don’t open the door, but be calm. You have rights;” “Ask what they are there for, (and ask for an interpreter if you need one.” The guide goes on to say, “if they ask to enter, ask if they have a warrant signed by a judge and if so, ask to see it (through a window or slipped under the door). The ACLU instructs, If they do NOT have a warrant signed by a judge, you may refuse to let them in. Ask them to leave any information at your door.” 

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“If they force their way in, don’t resist. Tell everyone in the residence to remain silent,” it says. “If you are arrested, remain silent and do not sign anything until you speak to a lawyer.”

Suozzi and Pilips recent cropped

Democrat Tom Suozzi and Republican Mazi Pilips are competing in a Feb. 13 special election for George Santos’ vacant U.S. House seat in New York. (Getty Images)

The guide clarifies that “an ICE administrative warrant (form I-200, I-205) does not allow them to enter your home without your consent.” 

Fox News Digital reached out to Suozzi’s campaign on Tuesday seeking comment. 

Mazi Pilips, a former Israel Defense Forces soldier and relative political newcomer serving as a Republican county legislator, is running for Congress against Suozzi in the Feb. 13 special election. She said the 2019 post demonstrates that Suozzi “can’t run away from his record of supporting Joe Biden’s open borders, sanctuary cities, and lawlessness.”

“It is not surprising that he would publish a guide on how migrants can evade federal ICE agents,” Pilips said in a statement to Fox News Digital. “I will secure our borders, make sure we deport migrant lawbreakers, and fix the sanctuary city mess that Suozzi and Biden have created.”

On Monday, Rep. Nicole Malliotakis, R-N.Y., held a bipartisan press conference in Times Square with U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement officials, calling on New York City to restore cooperation with ICE in the wake of the beatings of two NYPD officers allegedly by a gang of migrants later arrested and released. 

Though the migrant attack on police received a lot of media attention, Malliotakis cited more than 1,000 arrests of migrants in connection to crimes ranging from assault, grand larceny, stabbings and even a murder at the Roosevelt shelter. 

“What’s troubling, the most perhaps, is that NYPD’s hands are tied, and they are prohibited by City Council’s laws of 2014 from cooperating with Immigration and Customs Enforcement to have these individuals detained and deported,” she said. 

Suozzi campaigning

Former Rep. Tom Suozzi, Democratic candidate for New York’s 3rd District, greets guests during a campaign rally at the Polish National Home in Glen Cove, New York, on Sunday, Feb. 4, 2024. (Tom Williams/CQ-Roll Call, Inc via Getty Images)

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Former New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio signed measures into law dramatically reducing the city’s cooperation with federal immigration officials in 2014 that were later codified into citywide guidance and NYPD protocols in 2018 during the Trump administration. Pressed on those laws handcuffing federal agents at his own news conference Monday, current Democrat New York City Mayor Eric Adams appeared to laugh off questioning over the sanctuary policies, stating, “I didn’t pass the law.” 

“I think that should be presented to the city council. And here’s the only area of the law that I think should be examined. And I’ve made it clear – you repeatedly commit felonies, dangerous crimes. Once, if you’re found guilty, you should not be in our city. That’s what I believe, and ICE can execute warrants, ICE can have a role here,” Adams said. “No one is stopping ICE from doing their job. They have a job to do. When you deal with dangerous people such as that. I cannot use city resources based on existing law.” 

Santos in New Hampshire

Former Rep. George Santos during a primary election night watch party in Nashua, New Hampshire, on Jan. 23, 2024. He became only the sixth lawmaker in history to be expelled from the U.S. House last year. (Al Drago/Bloomberg via Getty Images)

“We all have a role here. The role of the police department is to arrest. The role of the prosecutors is to prosecute and the role of the federal government, if a person is found guilty of a crime, is to deport. And I think deport after they serve their sentence here for the crime that they committed. So I don’t have the power,” he said. 

The race between Suozzi and Pilips is considered key amid Democrats’ hope to retake the House majority in 2024. In a recent interview with CNN, however, Suozzi acknowledged how Long Island has been shifting more purple and red in recent years – as the deep blue New York battles crime and the influx of tens of thousands of migrants from the southern border. 

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“It’s a very tough seat. Democrats have been losing everything on Long Island and northeast Queens for the past three years. The Democratic brand is in trouble here, and we have to do a lot to overcome that,” Suozzi told CNN, attempting to bill himself as a moderate Democrat despite Republican attacks. “We have a problem with crime in New York City, or had a problem with crime in New York City. It was very effectively weaponized by the Republicans, immigration’s become a very hot button issue here.” 

“They’re not only trying to tie me to Joe Biden, they’re trying to tie me to the Squad. They’re saying that ‘Tom Suozzi is a member of the Squad, you know, he’s a far lefty,’ you know it’s ridiculous,” he said. “Joe Biden is under water here in my district, but so is Donald Trump.” 

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