Mayor Michael Bloomberg and NewsCorp CEO Rupert Murdoch testified on Capitol Hill today in support of immigration reform, urging lawmakers to provide a path to citizenship for undocumented immigrants living in the U.S.
Murdoch noted the contributions immigrants have made to the nation's economy. "These are young people who are inventing the next generation of big ideas," he said. "In fact, a full 25 percent of all technology and engineering businesses launched in America between '95 and 2005 had an immigrant founder."
Bloomberg said that since 1990, cities with the largest immigrant workforce have had the fastest economic growth. "New York City is a perfect example," he said. "Immigrants have been essential to our economic growth in every single industry. Immigrants are the reason New York has weathered the national recession much better than the country as a whole."
He also spoke about the need to reform the legal immigration system, and the difficulties foreigners face when trying to find work in the U.S. "More and more foreign students are reporting plans to return home because of visa problems. We educate them here, and then in effect we tell them to take that knowledge and start jobs in other countries," he said. "It makes no sense whatsoever. I've described this as national suicide."
Bloomberg and Murdoch have created a coalition of mayors and business leaders, called the Partnership for a New American Economy, to push for immigration reform.