Bloomberg, Murdoch and Top CEOs Push for Immigration Reform

Joined by New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg, media mogul Rupert Murdoch appeared on Fox News recently to discuss his support for immigration reform in America. The two are members of the recently created Partnership for a New American Economy, a coalition of high profile businessmen and politicians advocating for comprehensive immigration reform.

Prominent members of the partnership include the CEOs of Hewlett-Packard, Walt Disney Co., Marriot International and Boeing. The mayors of San Antonio, Phoenix, Philadelphia and Los Angeles are also part of the group.

In the Fox interview, Bloomberg and Murdoch, who is the CEO of News Corp., made the argument that immigrants are vital in maintaining the U.S. as an economically competitive country. “You’ve got to recognize there are millions of bright, intelligent people around the world that want to come to America and live the American dream,” Murdoch said. “I think we can show to the public the benefits of having migrants and the jobs that go with them.”

Bloomberg, mayor of the city that welcomed millions of America’s first foreign settlers, is a public supporter of more open immigration policy. After his 2009 reelection, Bloomberg vowed to make immigration reform a top issue for his third term as mayor.

On the topic of undocumented immigrants, Bloomberg was once quoted for saying, “In fact, we do the stupidest thing, we give them educations and then don't give them green cards.”

For me, the most puzzling aspect of this new partnership is how Murdoch’s position on immigration contrasts so strongly with what Fox News broadcasts on television, despite Fox’s being a direct subsidiary of Murdoch’s News Corp. The very news channel he oversees invariably broadcasts a conservative outlook on American immigration that conflicts head-on with the entire agenda of Partnership for a New American Economy.

The explanation for Murdoch’s attitude towards immigration may lie in the fact that Murdoch isn’t an American native. Murdoch was born in Australia, but gained American citizenship in 1985, largely in part to further his American business ventures.

The partnership’s argument that immigration is vital to a growing economy is an interesting line of reasoning, and hopefully it will add some fresh breath into this debate. Although all eyes right now are on the candidates for November’s senate election, it’s always important to understand where this nation’s influential business leaders stand on the issues.

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Tags: murdoch, immigration, Opportunity, Bloomberg, Fox News (all tags)

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