Swing-District Dem Sue Altman Campaigns With Group Working To Fast-Track Citizenship for All Illegal Immigrants

New Jersey candidate called to give COVID stimulus checks to illegal immigrants

Sue Altman (Eugene Gologursky/Getty Images for MoveOn)
June 6, 2024

Sue Altman (D.), the Democratic nominee in New Jersey's most moderate district, is embracing a progressive group that seeks to give every illegal immigrant in America a pathway to citizenship.

Altman on Wednesday posted photos of herself with a brigade of volunteers from Make the Road NJ, a progressive group working toward wholesale amnesty and an end to mass detentions and deportations. The Democrat is pictured addressing the group of volunteers who are dressed in matching shirts that read "Respeto & Dignidad," their Spanish motto that translates to "Respect & Dignity."

"We had our first Weekend of Action in Linden canvassing ahead of the primary—thank you @MakeRoadActNJ and all our amazing volunteers who came out to talk to their neighbors about the importance of voting! One door at a time, we're going to #FlipNJ7," Altman wrote on X, formerly Twitter.

The group isn't shy about its aims. "To truly reform immigration requires a pathway to citizenship for all, ending mass detention & deportation," Make the Road NJ wrote in a February post.

Estimates of the illegal immigrant population in the United States vary. The Department of Homeland Security puts the number at 11 million, while the immigration restrictionist group Federation for American Immigration Reform says it's closer to 17 million.

Make the Road NJ has worked toward mass amnesty for years, organizing marches and protests to lobby Congress to grant millions of illegal immigrants the full rights and privileges of citizenship.

"We are taking action & marching to the Statue of Liberty to remind President Joe Biden and Congress that #WeAreHome and we need a pathway to citizenship for all the 11 million NOW," the group wrote in April 2021.

More than a year later, the group met with New Jersey congresswoman Bonnie Watson Coleman (D.), urging her to deliver citizenship to "undocumented folks" and those with temporary protection status.

"It's time … to deliver permanent protections, citizenship for all, including undocumented folks, TPS, farmworkers, and DACA recipients and to #DefundHate," the group wrote.

Altman's embrace of the radical group reflects her continued closeness with the Democratic Party's left flank. As the leader of the New Jersey chapter of the Working Families Party, Altman advocated to give stimulus checks to illegal immigrants during the pandemic and enthusiastically pushed reparations. Altman this week secured the Democratic nomination for New Jersey's Seventh Congressional District, a swing seat held by Republican Rep. Thomas Kean Jr., a race that Democrats have at the top of their priority list.

The New Jersey hopeful encouraged Make the Road NJ's "Recovery for All" initiative that sought to give illegal immigrants the same pandemic relief funding as U.S. citizens received.

As recently as February, however, Altman has called the situation at the border a "crisis" and a "problem."

"Yes, the border's a crisis. Yes, it's a problem. And a solution … will need, will require, an entire Congress to fix it, and we can't have people being cynically obstructionist because they have political ambitions," Altman said.

Immigration does not appear on the "Issues" page on her campaign website.

For years, Altman and the Working Families Party community organized alongside Make the Road NJ.

In February of last year, Altman posed for a selfie with Make the Road NJ volunteers who were advocating for temporary workers' rights.

"Si se puede!!! With @MaketheRoadNJ," Altman wrote, a Spanish translation of "Yes we can."

Altman in 2020 praised Make the Road for the work it did on calling for illegal immigrants to receive financial COVID relief funds.

"This group ALSO does the work! all the time!!!" Altman wrote in a post captioned with fire emojis. "Way to go @MaketheRoadNJ!"

The Working Families Party held a joint event with Make the Road NJ, called "Stop the Pandemic Profiteers," to rally against tax breaks for corporations who made profits during the pandemic.

"Join the For the Many coalition to unveil a report where we name New Jersey's Fifteen Pandemic Profiteers and call for our state to end their tax breaks," the rally's description read.

The Democrat in an August 2020 post encouraged people to join the Working Families Party and Make the Road NJ at the event.

Altman has received support from wealthy progressives, including the Soros family. Jonathan Soros and his wife both donated the legal maximum contribution to Altman's campaign this spring. Members of the Soros family have donated to groups aligned with Altman, including Reproductive Freedom for All, which seeks to defund the police, and the Newark Water Coalition, a group behind the Rutgers University anti-Israel encampment.

Altman and Make the Road NJ did not return requests for comment.