Mayor Michael Bloomberg is leading a coalition of lawmakers and corporate big shots to offer citizenship to undocumented immigrants.
Seeking to reframe immigration reform as a solution to stimulating the economy, Mayor Bloomberg and the CEOs of several major corporations are pushing for a path to legal status for all undocumented immigrants in the US.
The group announced it will lobby to overhaul immigration laws that keep some of the most brilliant international minds from contributing to US businesses. The new coalition, dubbed "Partnership for a New American Economy" was announced by Bloomberg and News Corporation CEO Rupert Murdoch, the Australian media mogul who became a naturalized U.S. citizen, this morning.
"If you want to solve the unemployment problem in America, you have to open the door to immigrants who will come here and create businesses. When the tide comes in, everybody’s boat rises and we need more immigrants, not less," Bloomberg said Thursday morning as he stood in Manhattan's largest original retail outlet, Forever 21 in Times Square, developed by immigrants..
Bloomberg says too many technology companies in particular are having trouble recruiting the best and brightest workers because getting a visa is too difficult. He often complains that the brightest students from around the world come to NYC to study, only to return to work in other countries because they can't get green cards.
“Promoting continued US leadership in the global technology industry requires balanced immigration reform,” said Hewlett-Packard Chairman, CEO and President Mark Hurd.
On the lower end of the economic ladder, the coalition will press for citizenship for the millions of undocumented people who could become taxpaying employees working in hotel, domestic and agricultural jobs that American workers are less likely to take.
“We couldn’t operate our hotels in the U.S. without workers from other countries,” said Marriott International Chairman and CEO J.W. Marriott, Jr. “In some of our hotels, we have upwards of 50 languages spoken."
The Mayor's high profile focus on the national immigration issue will undoubtedly resurrect speculation that he's exploring a run for president.
As if to claim it's an absurd conclusion to draw, Bloomberg said "you know I like Nathan hot dogs, does that mean I’m running for president? What I’m running for is to try to get this country to do what's right so that my kids have a future."