In the NJ-09 congressional district, Alp Basaran, a formerly undocumented Muslim immigrant and lawyer, is running to unseat Bill Pascrell, a 12-term incumbent who during his tenure (1) tipped off the INS and oversaw an immigration raid (view here) leading to the arrest of undocumented workers and (2) turned his congressional seat into a family business with his sons (more on that below). If elected, Alp would be:
- The 1st Muslim from New Jersey and 3rd formerly undocumented immigrant in Congress;
- One of the few candidates in the country calling for amnesty for undocumented immigrants; and
- Representing a broader shift toward experienced progressives who seek to unseat corporate Democrats.
THE AMERICAN DREAM: Alp arrived in New Jersey with his parents when he was four years old and became an undocumented immigrant after overstaying his visa. Raised by two-parents who did not speak English and worked minimum-wage jobs, Alp was a product of a fairer America where he was able to attend public schools and become a lawyer, working at some of the best law firms in the country for almost a decade. Alp is uniquely qualified to write laws in Congress.
ANTI-CORRUPTION: While Rep. Pascrell writes our tax laws on the Ways and Means Committee, two of his adult sons serve corporate interests as professional lobbyists and are actively involved in getting their father reelected. Rep. Pascrell has received hundreds of thousands of dollars from corporate lobbyists in the 2020 election cycle alone. Not surprisingly, Rep. Pascrell has found himself on the wrong side of many major issues that define corporate Democrats. Rep. Pascrell:
- Foreign Policy: voted to authorize the Iraq War;
- Economy: voted for TARP and other key bail-out legislation;
- Border: voted for the construction of a border fence, which was the Tea Party precursor to Trump’s border wall; and
- Healthcare: remains opposed to Medicare-for-All legislation.
Alp Basaran is a progressive who will vote in a way that benefits his constituents instead of his donors because Alp understands their experiences.
Communications Director, Alp Basaran for Congress