Queens GOP Press Conference: Paul King, Yiatin Chu and Dwayne Moore on NYC Migrant Struggles

By Ledger Staff | news@queensledger.com

Paul King speaks in Jamaica.

At a Queens GOP press conference in Jamaica, three candidates delivered speeches focused on the ongoing influx of migrants into New York. About a dozen attendees listened to the candidates outline their platforms on Monday in front of a hotel functioning as a migrant shelter.

The city’s migrant crisis is a hot-button issue this election cycle, and Republicans are betting on it to garner them more votes. Two candidates at the event — Paul King, running for a House seat in the 5th District and Dwayne Moore, running for the 29th Assembly District seat inside the 5th congressional district — look to have very slim chances of winning. Candidate Yiatin Chu, though, who is running for State Senate in District 11, could be a competitive challenger to Democratic incumbent Toby Ann Stavinsky. 

Paul King, a Republican Rockaway resident challenging powerful House Democrat Gregory Meeks for the second cycle in a row, was among the speakers. King lost by a wide margin in 2022, with Meeks taking home 75.1% of the vote. 

In describing his platform, King said he would support reviving the H.R.2 “Secure the Border” Act, the bill at the heart of government shutdown threats in January. H.R.2 would impose sweeping restrictions on the asylum process, denying migrants the option to claim asylum unless the individual Customs and Border Patrol officer that processes them decides that their asylum case is likely to be accepted, and requiring those making an asylum claim to pay a $50 fee. It would also require all employers to verify their employees’ legal status, and resume Trump-era plans for a more extensive border wall. 

King also argued that the asylum process should generally be altered.

“It’s being watered down because we allow it to be used like a magic word. Abracadabra, you come to the border, you say asylum, you get to come in,” King said. “We need to bring back asylum what it’s meant to do: to help people who need protection and give them their day in court quickly, not seven years from now.”

King’s last point touched on international affairs. “The final thing we should do, immediately in early 2025, is give the President, via new laws, more power to go after the coyote cartels in Mexico,” he said to the crowd. 

The notion of direct attacks on Mexican cartels has gained significant ground in the GOP in recent years as the proliferation of fentanyl has worsened. Lawyers say such actions would not be consistent with international law, and some State Department officials have warned of potential bloody backlash on American soil. 

Yiatin Chu

Yiatin Chu, an anti-affirmative action and pro-SHSAT education activist running against  Democrat incumbent Toby Ann Stavinsky for the District 11 State Senate seat, spoke next. Stavinsky, who chairs the Committee on Higher Education, has 25 years in office under her belt. The race could be competitive: while the district re-elected Stavinsky in 2022, which was a bad year for Democrats, it’s been trending steadily more Republican in recent years and has a plurality of Asian voters. 

“Instead of budgeting an additional $2.4 billion dollars, as Albany did in April, for services for illegal migrants, we must defund all programs for illegal immigrants except the cost of a one way bus ticket to leave our state,” Chu said in her speech. 

Chu also expressed her support for Laken’s Law, a bill that would require local and state law enforcement, and some courts, to notify ICE upon the arrest or conviction of an undocumented person. 

Like King, Chu argued for restricting employers’ ability to hire undocumented workers — specifically highlighting food delivery apps, an ever-popular work option among migrant men trying to make a living.

“We need to enforce labor laws that we have on the books and start giving jobs to legal residents who want them,” Chu said. “Start by ensuring that the delivery app companies like Uber Eats and DoorDash have them audit their workers. These companies have made huge profits by allowing their business model to underpay illegal immigrants while taking away opportunities from legal residents.”

Dwayne Moore.

Dwayne Moore, a former teacher, actor and Jamaica, Queens resident who serves as a Republican County Committee member, spoke after Chu. Moore is running for an Assembly seat in the 29th District, which hasn’t seen a Republican candidate since 2015 — the year that current Democratic incumbent Alicia Hyndman won 92.8% of the vote. 

Moore, like Chu, stated his support for ending New York’s sanctuary city status. He argued that the large number of migrant children enrolling in the strained city’s public school system is “taking the future away from our kids.”

When it comes to policy, Moore said the state should pass legislation preventing undocumented immigrants from becoming homeowners — a departure from the event’s overall focus on impoverished and working class migrants who rely on strained social services. 

“How can we just flood over 170,000 people when our own citizens can’t even get homes, can’t even get apartments?” Moore said. “We should pass legislation barring anyone that is not a citizen and does not have legal status to be able to purchase property in this state.”

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