Bloomberg Says Immigration-Based Reform Could Boost Economy

The U.S. can grow its way out of its economic troubles with immigration reform based on economics, Mayor Michael Bloomberg said Wednesday during a speech in Washington, D.C.

In an address at the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, Bloomberg argued the 15 percent allocation of visas for economic reasons should be augmented, and foreign students earning advanced degrees in technical fields at U.S. universities should be eligible for green cards — saying such immigration-reform based legislation could produce jobs.

"As the two parties are locked in a standoff over how to create jobs, immigration reform based on our national economic needs offers a unique opportunity ... to both of them," Bloomberg said.  "It does not require either party to walk away from its position on taxes or spending."

The mayor said the U.S. should expand existing tools for attracting talent and entrepreneurs such as eliminating the cap on H-1B visas, and another cap that limits employment green cards by country.

Bloomberg made the remarks Wednesday at the Immigration and American Competitiveness Conference.