PEAPACK AND GLADSTONE NJ - Congressman Leonard Lance visited Peapack-Gladstone last night to discuss national issues with interested members of the public and the governing body at the Peapack-Gladstone Muncipal Building. During his comments, Congressman Lance fielded questions from the public. The questions covered a variety of topics, including immigration, the rising cost of healthcare, Cuba and the presidential election.
Immigration has been a hot topic on Capitol Hill and in the presidential race. When asked about immigration, Lance stated that before Congress considers any changes in the law such as a path to legalization, that the U.S. government must secure the country's southern border with Mexico.
Another member of the public asked the congressman for his opinion of President Obama's recent visit to Cuba and the initiative to open relations with Cuba. Congressman Lance answered that in any negotiation with Cuba the administration must demand the return of Joanne Chesimard. Chesimard, also known as Assata Shakur, was convicted in the 1973 shooting death of a New Jersey state trooper. In 1979, while serving a life sentence, she escaped from a New Jersey prison with the help of armed accomplices. Governor Christie demanded Chesimard's return in 2015 when relations with Cuba began to thaw.
After fielding additional questions about constituent services and the presidential election, the congressman thanked those in attendance and departed.