Mayor Mike is stepping back onto the national stage. But this time, he doesn’t want to take away anyone’s guns — he wants immigration reform.
In a model the AP compares to his coalition against gun violence, Bloomberg is rolling out a group of big city mayors and powerful CEOs called the Partnership for a New American Economy. The group will lobby Congress for comprehensive immigration reform at the federal level, arguing they need amnesty for those here illegally in order to run their cities and businesses effectively.
This won’t play well with the Tea Party, but Mayor Mike is being joined by big business CEOs, and Republicans hate telling the heads of HP, Boeing, Disney and even News Corp. that they don’t know what’s good for America. Rupert Murdoch is on board, and he and Bloomberg even went on Fox News to hawk their plan this morning. (Murdoch may be the boss over there, but he’s smart enough not to roll out this position on Glenn Beck or Hannity.)
The benefits of supporting immigration reform for the billionaire mayor are clear, whether he stays in city politics or goes back to private practice. Bloomberg LLP will surely benefit from any reforms he can push through. But should he go back on his word (again) and run for yet another term as mayor (again), his stand on immigration could only help him politically in New York, as well.
The only way it could possibly hurt him is if he runs for president as a Republican. But as an immigration attorney recently told us, “The idea that Republicans aren’t pro-amnesty is a myth.” Sure, certain elements of the party have to feed anti-immigrant read meat to their base, but the big funders of both political parties are interested primarily in making money. And for many big companies to make money, they need a flexible workforce. Hence, it should be no surprise that Bloomberg’s new coalition, which the AP says ” employ[s] more than 650,000 people and make[s] more than $220 billion in annual sales, combined” supports comprehensive immigration reform.
The AP recalls Bloomberg’s former position that he believes all 12 million undocumented workers in the United States should be given a way to become citizens, and quotes him saying anyone who thought they could all be deported was “living in a fantasy world.”