Bloomberg leads U.S. corporations and cities to lobby for immigration reform

From the Restore Fairness blog.

It seems fitting that New York City, the crux of the U.S.’s rich immigrant history is leading a new direction in the movement for immigration reform.

In what promises to be an important step towards re-framing the immigration debate in this country, New York City Mayor Bloomberg has formed a coalition of top executives and city mayors to put pressure on Congress and steer the nation towards immigration reform. On Thursday the 24th, Mayor Bloomberg announced the Partnership for a New American Economy, a coalition that includes the chief executives of major corporations such as News Corp., Hewlett-Packard, Disney, Boeing, Morgan Stanley, Marriott International and the NY Mets, and the mayors of Los Angeles, Philadelphia, San Antonio and Phoenix.

The coalition argues that immigration reform is the key solution to repairing and rejuvenating the economy. By conducting polls, funding public educational campaigns, convening forums and publishing studies that demonstrate the ways in which a healthy economy thrives on immigrant workers, the coalition aims to “break the legislative stalemate that has taken over Congress.” Rupert Murdoch, a central member of the partnership and chairman of the News Corporation, who is also a naturalized immigrant from Australia, summed up the argument for the New York Times-

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….American ingenuity is a product of the openness and diversity of this society.

The CEO’s who have signed on to the partnership released statements about how their companies rely on immigrants. They mentioned the constant challenge they face in acquiring visas for professional workers whom they want to hire. Walt Disney chairman and CEO, Robert Iger said that the country’s immigrant population was “our great strength as a nation, and …critical for continued economic growth.” His statement went on to say, “To remain competitive in the 21st century, we need effective immigration reform that invites people to contribute to our shared success by building their own American dream.”

While stressing the importance of securing the national borders and preventing further entry of undocumented immigrants, the coalition urges Congress to create a path to legalization for the 12 million undocumented immigrants currently living in the U.S. According to Mayor Bloomberg, in addition to the fact that deporting the existing undocumented immigrants was an impossible task, doing so would ruin the economy as these immigrants are a crucial part of the workforce.

On Thursday morning, Mayor Bloomberg and Rupert Murdoch appeared on Fox News to talk about the ways in which immigration reform would benefit the economy. Bloomberg made his case for a reformed immigration policy which creates a system that allots green cards to those that have been education in the country rather than preventing them from staying on. Bluntly referring to the current system as “national suicide,” the NYC Mayor warned against the pitfalls of the present system in which prohibitive laws, bureaucracy and stiff enforcement prevent hundreds of potential entrepreneurs from staying on and leading to the creation of more jobs. He reiterated that the people who seek to the immigrate to the U.S. were hard working, dynamic, innovative people who want the opportunity to strive for better lives for themselves and their families, and that those are the people that build America in the first place. He said-

I can’t think of any ways to destroy this country quite as direct and impactful as our immigration policy. We educate the best and the brightest, and then we don’t give them a green card.

The business leaders in the coalition that have taken it upon themselves to lead the country towards immigration reform employ more than 650,000 people and make more than $220 billion in annual sales, combined. However it is yet to be announced as to whether the partnership will be a non-profit organization, a political action committee, or a non-standard non-profit. Either way, this bipartisan group’s decision to take on an issue that is of national importance and has been stuck in politics for so long, is deeply encouraging. Let’s get behind them and add to the pressure on President Obama and Congress to pass immigration reform now!

At 0:40 in the Fox News interview Mayor Bloomberg says, “We need to create jobs in this country….and immigrants can come here and create jobs. There’s this belief that immigrants take jobs away and that’s not true.”

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Where Are Pixar's Women (or, Does Whimsy Trump Equality?)

(Reposted from here):

I was listening to the Slate's latest (very enjoyable) Culture Gabfest today and was disappointed to see (well, hear) their riff on criticism of the absence of women in Pixar movies (it's roughly 33:00 to 37:00).  First they establish that, indeed, the heroes in Pixar movies are always men, never heroines.  But then Julia Turner interjects that, merits of the criticism aside, "I just resist the sort of close political reading of children's entertainment," offering as an example the "flap" over Disney and race - first, Disney was criticized for offering its multi-ethnic audience only Caucasian protagonists (I remember when I was in the Disney demographic that the bad guys in Aladdin had Middle Eastern accents, but not the good guys), and now that Disney is making a movie with a Black heroine, people are criticizing the portrayal.  Turner and her fellow gabfesters don't like this criticism.  What makes their criticism of the criticism especially annoying is that they're not even arguing Disney's critics are totally off-base.  Turner concedes that:

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Florida (need I really say anything else)


Disney and Me: On Being Erased From Official Corporate History

[I hope this post proves interesting. It was written by Edwize blogger Leo Casey, and previously posted on Edwize.]

On the Disney Company's corporate website, the reader will find a honor roll of teachers from across the United States who have been recognized by the American Teacher Awards, starting with the first class of 1990 and concluding with the last class of 2006. A close examination will reveal that there is no teacher listed as the 1992 honoree in the category of Social Studies. Two of the three Social Studies finalists are listed, but the teacher who was actually named Social Studies Teacher of the Year is missing.*

I am that missing teacher. My name disappeared some time after I organized a public letter, signed by twenty-five American Teacher Award honorees, protesting Disney's sponsorship of John Stossel's Stupid in America, an ideological broadside against public education and the teachers who labor in our public schools.

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Disney will save the world -- thank you, Disney!

(Cross posted from The Bilerico Project, by Mattilda aka Matt Bernstein Sycamore)

Saltyfemme brought my attention to a piece of stunning journalism at Huffington Post -- isn't that supposed to be a "progressive" blog (or the progressive blog, according to some)?  Anyway, "Corporate America: the New Gay Activists," this post by Kirk Snyder, author of The G Quotient: Why Gay Executives are Excelling as Leaders... And What Every Manager Needs to Know, offers so many stellar quotes that it's hard even to know where to start, so let me go right through in a somewhat conventional linear manner -- starting with the beginning, that is.

Read the rest.

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