The Powerful Go for Immigration Reform - NBC New York

The Powerful Go for Immigration Reform

Mayor Bloomberg and Rupert Murdoch team up



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    Mayor Michael Bloomberg, Don Chang,CEO of Forever 21 and Linda Chang,senior marketing manager of Forever 21 visit the Forever 21 new Times Square location.

    It could mark a turning point in the long struggle to achieve immigration reform and our mayor, Michael Bloomberg, and media giant Rupert Murdoch, are leading the way.

    They have formed a coalition of CEOs and billionaires whose goal is to get President Obama and Congress to make revolutionary changes in our immigration laws and policy.

     “Our immigration policy is national suicide,” the Mayor said. “We educate the best and the brightest and then we don’t give them a green card---we want people to create jobs but we won’t let entrepreneurs from around the world come here.”

    Significantly, at a time when many politicians and American voters are deeply concerned about illegal immigration, some of the nation’s most powerful leaders are pleading for new initiatives to legalize illegal immigrants.

    Murdoch said: “American ingenuity is a product of the openness and diversity of this society. As an immigrant myself, I believe that this country can and must enact new immigration policies that fulfill our employment needs, provide a careful pathway to legal status for undocumented residents and end illegal immigration.”

    Essentially these leaders and others ranging from those who run Hewlett-Packard to the Walt Disney Company and Morgan Stanley are seeking basic change. These leaders have looked at the present and the future and decided that it’s in the self-interest of the institutions they command to make some revolutionary changes.

    Some advocates for the nation’s undocumented immigrants are overjoyed.

    Gerson Borrero, a leading voice for immigration reform and a frequent critic of Bloomberg on other issues, thinks the Mayor has it right.

     “This is an economic problem,” he says. “The Mayor understands it and the other guys in this coalition do too. I congratulate these billionaires. They make no pretense. We need these immigrants for our economy. They do the gritty jobs, the work in restaurants and hotels, the menial work. They’re essential to our economy.”

    New York City is a trillion dollar business, Borrero says. “Bloomberg is the richest man in New York and he understands it. He gets it. Whether it’s 12 million or 14 million undocumented workers out there -- these billionaires, they understand it. I congratulate them.”

    For those of us who want to solve the immigration problem, this is certainly a welcome development. The Partnership for a New American Economy has the muscle to accomplish reform.

    As Murdoch said: “We’re just going to keep the pressure on the congressmen. I think we can show to the public the benefits of having migrants and the jobs that go with them.”

    Bloomberg seconded the motion: “Somebody has to lead and explain to the country why this is in our interest.”

    Both the Mayor and Murdoch should be congratulated for taking a step in the right direction. It’s important. It could be decisive, ultimately.  These captains of industry are not that different from the millions of  immigrants who comes to these shores:  they both know the meaning of a buck.