Mayor Uses Humor to Deny Anti-Immigration Claim

Bloomberg calls comments in Betsy Perry's column inappropriate

A woman appointed by Mayor Michael Bloomberg to a city commission on women's issues is under fire for remarks she made about Mexico in an online column.

In a piece published on the Huffington Post, Betsy Perry warns that the United States might need to "get a grip on its banditos."

She says that, before swine flu, the worst thing about going to Mexico used to be that travelers were warned against eating anything that might have been "touched by the Mexican help."

Perry added that nowadays, "the best PR Mexico has is the movie 'Beverly Hills Chihuahua.'"

Asked about her comments Thursday, Bloomberg said he had not read the piece but called the words inappropriate. He said he does not know what she was thinking, and insisted the comments are not in line with any stance his office may have on immigration.

"There's not an anti-immigrant sentiment in this city and I haven't seen it and I don't think there's any reason and I don't know what this woman wrote."

Near the end of a news conference at One Police Plaza Thursday, Bloomberg became slightly agitated when a Telemundo reporter inquired about the matter.

The reporter started by saying, "We're getting reports at Telemundo of anti-immigrant sentiment here ..." 

Bloomberg cut the man off and asked, "Where? What do you mean, 'here?' In this plaza here?"

The mayor eventually cooled off and offered up some of that sense of humor for which he's so well known.

"I'm sure there's somebody someplace that doesn't like immigrants," he said. "There's probably somebody that doesn't like the mayor even though that's hard to believe."

Yes, very hard to believe.

Copyright AP - Associated Press
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