A second blurb on immigration. Sue us, but it is DREAM Relief Day.
This time N.Y.C. Mayor Michael Bloomberg is making news for his insistence that the issue of immigration reform be featured in the presidential debates this fall.
“America is committing economic suicide by failing to confront the issue of immigration reform,” the mayor told members of the Economic Club of Chicago on Tuesday. “There is no way to help the economy as quickly and as cost-free as opening the borders to create jobs and create business.”
As the Chicago Sun-Times reported:
“The immigration reform topic was spurred by a new study from Partnership for a New American Economy (renewoureconomy.org), a bipartisan group of mayors and business leaders.
The study, ‘Open for Business,’ notes that ‘from local neighborhood shops to America’s largest companies, immigrant business owners contribute more than $775 billion dollars in revenue to our annual Gross Domestic Product and employ one out of every 10 American workers at privately owned companies across the country.’ “
In a heartening display of solidarity, Bloomberg was joined by Rupert Murdoch, the powerful head of News Corp. (which owns the likes of The Wall Street Journal), and Bill Daley, the former Obama chief of staff and former secretary of Commerce under Clinton.
Again, the Sun-Times:
“Both Bloomberg and Bill Daley are in agreement that immigrants bring energy and spirit to America’s economy. ‘Every other growing country is encouraging immigration, paying people to come and open businesses,’ said Bloomberg, referring to the legal immigration policies of Canada. ‘Those immigrants don’t come to go on welfare. They take risks and they work hard to make a better life for their children. . . . We can’t keep [our prosperity] by keeping others from getting it.’
Bloomberg is working hard to get both candidates to address the issue now — before the election — noting that both parties have a stake in resolving the issue. Business wants immigration reform because it needs to keep highly skilled workers. But Bloomberg also noted that crops are rotting in the ground for lack of a sensible migrant worker program. And universities are losing their best talent when immigrants get degrees but cannot get green cards to teach and do research here.”
Of course, we applaud the mayor for his fiery advocacy of immigrant rights and immigration reform. Lord knows the movement could use more friends in high places — after all, Obama’s only one man.
But what about Latinos who are already citizens and find themselves targeted by Bloomberg’s draconian stop-and-frisk police program? As recently as Monday it was reported that Mayor Bloomberg — and his aide-de-camp, Police Commissioner Ray Kelly — still see no need to alter in any way the discriminatory practice of targeting black and Latino young men and searching them for contraband.
Reported by Fox News Latino:
“The NYPD stopped close to 700,000 people on the street last year, up from more than 90,000 a decade ago. Nearly 87 percent were black or Hispanic. About half were frisked. About 10 percent were arrested….
‘Nobody should ask Ray Kelly to apologize. He’s not going to and neither am I,’ Bloomberg said [...] “And I think it’s fair to say that stop, question and frisk has been an essential part of the NYPD’s work.’ “
Bloomberg and his police commissioner stand by their darling of a program even when recent figures show that gun violence has hardly dropped in Bloomberg’s 10 years as mayor and fewer guns are being pulled off the streets.
It seems Mayor Bloomberg may be the first politician in America to prefer Latino immigrants to Latino citizens. The sheer singularity of such a position deserves another applause in itself.