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Hundreds gather at ‘get out the vote’ rally days before midterm election

FOREST AVENUE, Staten Island — Voters in the 11th Congressional District say immigration is one of the most important issues in the tight race between Republican incumbent Dan Donovan and his Democratic challenger Max Rose, a former army captain.

“Our country’s economic future depends upon a sensible immigration policy,” John Houlihan, a Bay Ridge resident, told PIX11 News.

Another Bay Ridge resident, April Pereyra Vigil, said immigration was an important issue because she wants to make sure “we preserve it, allow it and that all this rhetoric quiets down.”

For years the 11th congressional seat, which is made up of Staten Island and a portion of south Brooklyn from Gravesend to Bay Ridge has been Republican, the only GOP member of New York City’s congressional delegation.

Three days before the election, at a “get out the vote” rally outside his Staten Island headquarters, Rose talked about immigration reform in general terms.

“The American dream is something we can share,” Rose told a crowd of supporters.

PIX11’s News Close Up, which airs Sunday morning at 6 a.m., host Marvin Scott asked both candidates if they support President Trump’s decision to send as many as 15,000 troops to the southern border to stop a caravan of migrants from entering this country.

“We can’t have thousands of people running illegally across our borders,” Rep. Dan Donovan said. “We have a system in place. We have requirements. The president is right to protect our borders.”

But his Democratic challenger disagreed.

“By law, the United States Army cannot engage in any domestic law enforcement action,” Max Rose said. “We’ll have more troops on the border on a temporary basis than we have in Iraq and Syria. It’s a political stunt and we see right through it."

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