A fired-up Mayor Bloomberg warned the U.S. “is committing national suicide” by passing the buck on implementing comprehensive immigration reform.
Hizzoner delivered the blunt message Wednesday as he criticized Arizona’s harsh new anti-immigrant law.
“This is not good for the country. I don’t agree with it,” he said. “We love immigrants here.”
Bloomberg said that because federal lawmakers have failed to tackle the thorny issue, lawmakers in states like Arizona have taken matters into their own hands.
“This country is committing national suicide,” Bloomberg said.
The Arizona law allows cops to stop anyone they think is in the country illegally and arrest folks who can’t prove their immigration status or citizenship.
Bloomberg deemed it an invitation to harassment.
“We have to get real about the 12 million undocumented here,” the mayor said. “We’re not going to deport them. Give them permanent status. Don’t make them citizens unless they can qualify, but give them permanent status and let’s get on with this.”
Bloomberg spoke as he thanked volunteers at the “Citizenship Now!” hotline sponsored by the Daily News and City University of New York, which helps callers who want to know how to become citizens.
He called on President Obama to lead the fight to overhaul the nation’s immigration rules. “I will be there behind him supporting him 100%,” he said.
Bloomberg long has been a supporter of immigration reform, saying current law deters international companies from sending employees through border hassles to work in the U.S. – and freezes out the highly skilled immigrants America needs.
“We don’t have doctors, and we’re not allowing people who want to come here and be doctors to come here,” the mayor said. “This is just craziness.”
“People are developing new drugs in India, rather than here. They’re going to win the next Nobel Prize in China or in Europe, not here. If we want to have a future, we need to have more immigrants here.”