New York City Mayor Bloomberg calls for major immigration reform:
The Mayor proposed green cards for graduates with advanced degrees in essential fields; a new visa for entrepreneurs with investors ready to invest capital in their job-creating idea; more temporary and permanent visas for highly skilled workers…The Mayor also announced the results of a study conducted by the Partnership for a New American Economy – a bipartisan group of business leaders and mayors from across the country – that found more than 40 percent of Fortune 500 companies were founded by immigrants or the children of immigrants and those companies employ more than 10 million people worldwide and have combined revenues of $4.2 trillion.
“We would not have become a global superpower without the contributions of immigrants who built the railroads and canals that opened up the west, who invented ground-breaking products that revolutionized global commerce, and who pioneered scientific, engineering, and medical advances that made America the most innovative country in the world.
“But make no mistake: we will not remain a global superpower if we continue to close our doors to people who want to come here to work hard, start businesses, and pursue the American dream. The American dream cannot survive if we keep telling the dreamers to go elsewhere.
“It’s what I call national suicide – and that’s not hyperbole. Every day that we fail to fix our broken immigration laws is a day that we inflict a wound on our economy. Today, we may have turned away the next Albert Einstein or Sergey Brin. Tomorrow, we may turn away the next Levi Strauss or Jerry Yang.
“And we certainly will be turning away many of the people who – like my grandparents, and no doubt many of yours – came to this country with almost nothing except one thing: a desire to work – and work and work and work – to build a better life for themselves and their families.
In the last presidential election I interviewed most of the candidates on a variety of tech issues, including immigration. Most of the candidates punted because the issue is so politically charged. Everyone knows immigrants fuel Silicon Valley, but most politicians won’t fight for it.
It’s exceptionally frustrating to see our government doing so many things that hurt growth in Silicon Valley. So frustrating that I ranted in 2010 that the best thing the government can do is just leave Silicon Valley alone.
In that post I said “I would have said let in any highly educated person in the world that wants to live here, but I know that isn’t going to happen. We will continue to shun the next generation of brilliant foreign entrepreneurs because of some absurd fear that they’re going to take away our jobs. In a few years those entrepreneurs will no longer want to live here anyway.”
The fact is that those immigrants create companies, create jobs, create wealth. The issue of illegal immigration over our Southern border must be separated from the issue of immigration of people who want to come here to build companies. I am so happy to see a politician take this stand.