STATE — Bader Qarmout is hoping for an upset in next week’s Republican U.S. Senate primary election.
Qarmout, who was born in the country of Jordan to Christian parents, is challenging front-runner Joseph Kyrillos, a state Senator from Monmouth County, for the G.O.P nomination. Whoever wins the June 5 primary will face an uphill battle in November against Democrat U.S. Sen. Robert Menendez.
Although he’s a political newcomer, Qarmout has successfully appealed to conservative Republicans. While both the Bayshore TEA Party Group and the Monmouth County TEA Party Coalition are based in Kyrillos’ home county, Qarmout won their endorsements.
Qarmout gained some public attention for his immigration plan, which would secure America’s borders and ports and require the approximately 20 million undocumented immigrants to register with an officially designated office.
“At this point the applicant would be issued an alien number similar to an H1 visa,” Qarmout writes on a webpage outlining his plan. “The alien number would be specific to every applicant and would be required in addition to a social security number in every instance a social security number is required. The H1 visa would allow the applicant to work and pay taxes, along with open a bank account and get a driver’s license. The H1 visa would NOT allow the applicant to vote. After the 10 year H1 Visa period the applicant can either return to their country of origin or apply for a Green Card. Green Card holders are NOT allowed to vote in the United States.”
The previously undocumented immigrants would also be required to pay a $19.25 weekly penalty for ten years, or a $10,000 lump sum before becoming eligible to apply for a Green Card. Undocumented immigrants with a criminal record would not be allowed to participate.
While some critics have likened the plan to amnesty, he disagrees.
“Logically you would think this is the last matter the GOP would want to shine light on – especially when you consider Kyrillos’ non-record on the issue,” said RoseAnn Salanitri, Qarmout’s campaign manager. “Kyrillos may be a nice guy but he simply doesn’t have any ideas about how to solve the immigration problem or any of the other problems this country is facing.”
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