Candidate Q&A

Why are you running?

To ensure every person in this country has access to economic, social, and climate justice—not just through my words, but more importantly, through my actions. And that is what distingushes me in this race. As an immigrant and the son of teachers, we grew up in DuPage County in a low income household.

I spent most of my childhood in Section 8 housing, relying on food stamps, and working since I was 15. After becoming a human rights lawyer, I've spent the last nearly 15 years working with those same low income communities to advance economic, social, and climate justice. However, every major issue that impacted me as a child, is worse today than it was 30 years ago. Housing is less affordable. Healthcare is less affordable. The climate crisis worsens annually. The opioid crisis kills 6x as many people now than during my childhood. Tuition is unaffordable. And wealth and income inequality is worse today than it was after the Great Depression.

I am running a unique campaign that is 100% people funded. Unlike my opponent, who is well funded by the very institutions enabling and driving the aforementioned injustices, I am running for Congress to ensure every day working people have a voice in the halls of power. Whoever funds a candidate when they run for office is who the candidate is accountable to when they are elected to office. I am funded by voters, and that is who I will remain exclusively accountable to. My opponent is funded by billionaire corporations, and his voting record shows that is who he is accountable to.

I am running for Congress becuase I have the experience of growing up in a low income household, the experience of serving those same households as a human rights lawyer, and now it is time to transform my experience and advocacy into better policy to uplift all people in America to better acheive economic, social, and climate justice.

How has your district been impacted by the migrant crisis and what do you think should be done?

Our communities have received numerous buses and trains transporting migrants through and into IL-11. My team is responding by creating awareness of the crisis, raising resources for migrant families, and demonstrating the action items needed to ensure migrants receive human and just treatment. Addressing the issue of immigration is a multi-faceted strategy that addresses human rights, climate justice, and economic justice. For starters, I've spoken publicly about the need for justice for migrants at city council meetings, for example most recently at the Aurora City Council, in opposition to proposals to deny migrants sanctuary and safety.

I've loudly advocated for due process of law for migrants, as the Supreme Court has repeatedly ruled that all immigrants, undocumented or otherwise, have the absolute right to have their case heard. Asylum is a human right and must be respected and protected. To do this, the Federal Government must invest in more immigration judges and public immigration attorneys to support the case load to the levels needed to acommodate the number of migrants entering the United States. Additionally, we need a pathway to citizenship for DACA communities so they can then sponsor their families in a documented manner. This also requires we adjust our foreign policy in south and central America to one of justice, not exploitation of their economies.

The growing climate crisis is also impacting mass migration globally, so we need a more robust climate strategy based on green energy and job creation, not more fossil fuel exploitation. Likewise, we need to recognize that beyond asylum, our economies benefit from migrant communities. Given that 10,000 baby boomers are retiring per day, we need a healthy and robust immigration system to ensure we can meet the needs of the workplace. Likewise, the Bureau of Labor Statistics reports that they expect roughly 116,000 annual agricultural job vacancies each year over the next decade—vacancies not being filled by US Citizens.

Therefore, buliding an immigration system that captures the massive talent and potential of immigrant communities will strengthen our economies, lower our food costs, prevent migrant exploitation, massively decrease the risk of trafficking, and ensure a sustainable system built on due process of law. In short, we need an immigration system built on justice, compassion, and sustainability. That requires more immigration judges, more immigration attorneys, a pathway to citizenship for DACA recipients, and an economically viable strategy to benefit our workforce in the short term and long term.

None of this is impossible or unlikely, it simply requires leaders who are committed to justice and have the experiential knowledge and expertise to advocate for and push through such legislation.

What do you think immigration reform in Congress should look like?

Uphold Constitutional and international human rights law that recognizes asylum as a human right and affords due process of law to all immigrants, including undocumented immigrants. A pathway to citizenship for DACA recipients. Funding for immigration judges and attorneys to match the volume of asylum applicants. Work visas for seasonal immigrants to ensure our farms have the support necessary to produce for our nation, and to ensure undocumented immigrants aren't abused, trafficked, or exploited. A cessation of US foreign policy that economically exploits south and central america.

How important is bipartisanship to you and what issues have you worked on across the aisle or with people who don't uniformly share your beliefs?

ipartisanship is a valuable means to build consensus and coalition building, however it cannot be used as a crutch to compromise values, principles, and the existince of our democracy. I've worked with leaders across the political spectrum to combat antisemitism, religious discrimination, and poverty.

What action, if any, do you want to see next on abortion access after the Dobbs decision?

We need to codify Roe as a starting point and then pass guaranteed universal healthcare. Roughly 15 million women don’t have access to health insurance, meaning that even in states where it is legal, reproductive healthcare can still be out of reach because of cost barriers. You can’t be pro-choice without being pro-access, and that means fighting for guaranteed universal healthcare.

Did Joe Biden legitimately win the 2020 presidential race?


Should the United States provide Ukraine with money in its fight against Russia?

Did not respond.

Should the United States provide Ukraine with aid in the form of military supplies?

Did not respond.

Should the U.S. provide Israel with money in its fight against Hamas?

Did not respond.

Should the United States provide Israel with aid in the form of military supplies in its fight against Hamas?

Did not respond.

Should there be a law requiring background checks on all gun sales?


Should Congress pass a federal law banning semi-automatic assault-style weapons and large-capacity magazines to help address gun violence?