WATCH: Dem Lawmaker Says Illegal Immigrants Are Needed To Mow ‘Our Beautiful Lawns’
Rep. Tom Malinowski (D-NJ) explained to his constituents earlier in the week that illegal immigrants are necessary members of New Jersey’s 7th Congressional District because they are willing to take on the jobs that the community’s teenagers will no longer do.
"We have to think about the jobs because the reason this happens is because there are a lot of jobs in our community that, like it or not, for better or worse, Americans are not willing to take," Malinowski told the crowd while appearing at a town hall meeting.
"I mean, who do you think is taking care of our seniors? Fifty percent of the eldercare workers in the state of New Jersey are immigrants, most of them legal – most of them documented – but certainly some of them are not," he continued. "Who do you think is mowing our beautiful lawns in Somerset County? We don’t usually ask but a lot of those workers are undocumented."
Malinowski contended that the illegal immigrants residing in the area are able to fill the gap as teenagers who historically have been working menial jobs are now focused more on a white collar education in the technology sector.
"There just aren't a lot of kids who – sorry – are from Montgomery High [School], who are going to be doing that full time," the Democratic lawmaker said. "You guys are going into robotics, for goodness sake."
A younger member in the crowd announced to the freshman congressman that he currently works at Code Ninjas, an organization that teaches children to code by building their own video games.
"You work at Code Ninjas, exactly," Malinowski replied.
"You're a bunch of elitists," he joked. "You're not going to mow lawns."
Malinowski's controversial comments come as he prepares to seek a second term in the congressional swing district. The freshman congressman, who previously served as the Assistant Secretary of State for Democracy, Human Rights, and Labor under former President Barack Obama, successfully flipped his red district blue during the 2018 midterm elections after he edged out longtime incumbent Rep. Leonard Lance (R-NJ).
Four of New Jersey's twelve House districts were won by Democrats after decades of being reliably red, including Malinowski's newly acquired seat.
New Jersey's 7th Congressional District is the fifth highest median household income in the country, and while it has approximately 5,000 more registered Republicans than Democrats, President Donald Trump lost the district by 1 percent in the 2016 presidential election, according to Politico. Interestingly, The Trump National Golf Club in Bedminster, where the president often vacations, is located in Malinowski's central district.
Despite maintaining a relatively moderate voting record, the first-term congressman made waves after he joined the more progressive-wing of his party in calling for the House to proceed with impeachment hearings against the president. Not only was he the first New Jersey congressional member to do so, but he was also the first Democrat representing a swing district to support an impeachment inquiry.