Mayor Bloomberg’s attempt to push lawmakers in Washington, D.C., into taking action on gun control wasn’t exactly successful, but that hasn’t dissuaded him from trying the same strategy on immigration reform. On Tuesday, Bloomberg published another rare op-ed in the news service he founded, arguing that the U.S. should make it easier for immigrants to enter the country legally, and provide pathways to citizenship for illegal immigrants. Later at events in Chicago and Boston, Bloomberg participated in forum discussions with William Daley, President Barack Obama’s former chief of staff, and Rupert Murdoch. “If Bill and Rupert can find common ground — and they can — there’s no reason Democrats and Republicans in Washington should remain burrowed into their partisan foxholes,” writes Bloomberg.
In the op-ed, Bloomberg proposes several specific reforms: awarding green cards to foreign students who earn graduate degrees in STEM fields, handing out more green cards based on economic need, creating visas for entrepreneurs, and a guest-worker program for seasonal laborers.
Bloomberg frames the immigration debate as an economic problem. The Associated Press reports that while speaking in Chicago, Bloomberg highlighted a study by the partnership of mayors and business leaders that he co-chairs, which found that immigrants created out one of four new businesses started last year. “I know of no ways to help our economy as quickly and as cost-free as opening up proper ways to people who will come here, create jobs, create businesses, help our universities,” he said. “Immigration is what built the country, immigration is what kept this country going for the last 235 years and now we seem to have walked away from it.”
Bloomberg called out both candidates in his op-ed, saying, “Neither Barack Obama nor Mitt Romney offers more than lip service about immigration’s role in the economy. That’s inexcusable.” At the Boston event, both Bloomberg and Murdoch said they couldn’t understand why Romney isn’t using immigration to woo Latino voters, according to the Boston Globe. “Give them a path to citizenship,” said Murdoch. “They pay taxes. They are hard-working people. Why Mitt Romney doesn’t do it, I have no idea because they are naturally Republicans.” Hopefully Romney enjoyed the approval from Murdoch following his Paul Ryan announcement, because it sounds like he’s already back to disappointing him.