August 14th, 2007
03:12 PM ET
15 years ago

Bloomberg defends New York immigration

Watch Bloomberg's immigration comments Monday.

WASHINGTON (CNN) - He's not a presidential candidate, at least not yet, but New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg is weighing in on comments from former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney that New York is a "sanctuary city" for illegal immigrants.

"I can't think of any laboratory that shows better why you need a stream of immigrants than New York City," he said Monday. "I don't know what to tell anybody. They just - if they don't believe that immigrants add a heck of a lot more than they cost, they just aren't looking at the numbers.”

Romney has repeatedly criticized GOP frontrunner Rudy Giuliani saying the former mayor supported illegal immigration in New York City during his term in office. During his comments, Bloomberg did not mention either candidate by name.

While New York City has never declared itself a sanctuary city, it does protect citizens' confidentiality when they seek medical care or report a crime, according to The Associated Press. Giuliani supported that policy when he was mayor.

Following a tour of the border in San Ysidro, California on Monday, Romney said, "We welcome legal immigration. Legal immigration is great for this country. It brings culture and vitality, skill and innovation, which is helpful to this country and always has been."

"We are a country largely of immigrants and it’s a wonderful thing," he added. “But we want to make sure it's legal immigration. We have to end illegal immigration; we have to protect legal immigration. "

Filed under: Michael Bloomberg • Mitt Romney • Rudy Giuliani
soundoff (17 Responses)
  1. James, Phoenix AZ

    HOW painful must it have been for Bloomberg to effectively defend Guiliani??


    August 14, 2007 05:29 pm at 5:29 pm |
  2. Gimme A Break, Omg, Alabama

    I've got a news flash for yah bub, there is a certain document called the Constitution that says that Congress has the power to create uniform immigration laws. There is however no place that says mayors who are idiots can make up any laws they want in conflict with the constitution. There is also nothing that says that the federal government is solely responsible for enforcing federal law. There is also no reference to the government having the ability to pass a bunch of laws and then pick and choose which ones to enforce.

    Please run for President since the only person you will help is the Republican candidate who will once again be the lesser of the two morons on the ticket.

    August 14, 2007 05:49 pm at 5:49 pm |
  3. Joshua Davis

    Finally, someone who looks at a human for a human, not based on where someone came from. Looking more and more like I won't be voting Democratic in 08. Assuming Hilary wins the nomination of course.

    August 14, 2007 05:54 pm at 5:54 pm |
  4. Dawn Harrell, Lexington, SC

    I am so sick and tired of seeing these Hispanic immigrants in Walmartand their 'under-the-table-non-tax-paying-men' with them, with grocery carts full of food paid for with EBT cards, funded by my tax dollars!
    I work every day and am paying into a system which allows them to live here illegally and tax free! How can the IRS aggressively go after US Citizens and there are literally MILLIONS of illegals here drawing from the proverbial well but not adding a drip drop of income into it?

    August 14, 2007 06:03 pm at 6:03 pm |
  5. Reality Check USA

    Many of you do not have a grasp of what the immigrant population brings to the table. Our ecomomy as we know it would suffer noticably if it were not for these hard-working, industrious individuals.

    I have found that while many American workers take our country for granted, most of these foreign workers (who do pay taxes, by the way, in the form of sales taxes and social security taxes they will never collect) appreciate what this country has to offer and are willing to do work that American workers turn their noses up at.

    If it weren't for these people, who would make the beds in hotels, harvest our crops, clean our toilets, cook food in restaurants, cut our grass, replace the roofs on our houses, etc.

    There are somewhere between 12 and 20 million illegal immigrants holding jobs in this country. There are only 5 million unemployed Americans in the workforce. Who will do all these jobs if these inmmigrants were all to suddenly disappear?

    We need a guest worker program in this country to continue to provide services that our population cannot provide on its own. John McCain and Ted Kennedy fashioned legislation that was bipartisan and people demonized it as "amnesty." Many of you who are so outspoken on this issue do not realize how you misrepresent or misunderstand many of the facts.

    If we continue down this anti-immigrant path, many of you will regret your feelings as the workforce will no longer be able to sustain meaningful economic growth.

    August 14, 2007 07:38 pm at 7:38 pm |
  6. Tom Dedham, Mass

    Heres a real "reality check", one single issue can get independents and non-liberals to vote Republican and that will be illegal immigration.

    Republicans are going to shove it down the Democrats throats until they have to justify why they are for ILLEGALS being in this country. Can't do it.

    Lower and Middle class folks like us who are the ONLY people effected by 6 hour waits in the ER, oversized classrooms, LOWERED WAGES, higher premiums being paid for insurance because, guess what, someone has to pay for the crimaliens getting medical care for free.

    Add in the added burden on local police and fire along with the most important issue being OPEN BORDERS MEANS bad guys are coming in as well.

    You tell me how a Democrat is going to justify their belief that crimaliens belong in this country, ought to be fun.

    I am all for the tax paying, legal citizens from all over the world regardless of color, I applaud them for doing it the right way, the American way.

    August 14, 2007 08:35 pm at 8:35 pm |
  7. GodHelpUs NC

    Reality Check,,

    If despot, avaricious, money grubbing weasles learned business excellence rather than mere exploitation, there'd be Americans working at those tasks for fair pay and benefits. The vast majority of freedoms which we have seen fall by the wayside have stemmed from overpopulation! Want to see gas prices fall? Try sending 12 to 20 million illegal immigrant drivers back where they came from. Then the law of supply and demand would kick in and our refineries will be able to meet American needs.

    August 14, 2007 09:01 pm at 9:01 pm |
  8. Ed Santa Maria, California.

    How can illegal aliens be adding to our economy? That is an out right lie. At a cost of $35 Billion per year for educating their children and $50 billion on the Medical Care, and sending $26 Billion back to Mexican Banks in 2005, where is the addition that we keep hearing about. With the drug smugglers, gangs, murders, rapes on Americans, this is totally unacceptable. California had 18,000 illegal aliens in our prisons in 2006 at a cost to Taxpayers of $750 million per year for their encarceration, of which the governor said he went to Washington and got the Feds to kick in $100 million to offset some of this cost. Driving down our wages, taking our jobs where the employers don't have to provide insurance or pay Unemployment insurance because they are only temporary workers. Yet these illegal's are getting welfare and unemployment when or when not they are working. We are paying a heavy price for our hospitals who are closing their doors because they cannot give anymore free Medical Care. This is only the tip of the Iceberg.

    August 14, 2007 09:04 pm at 9:04 pm |
  9. Bryan, Marathon, Wi

    Everyone who thinks we NEED illegals here needs a wake up call.. Its called the INS/FBI Illegal Alien report for 2006. Here are a few high lites:
    -66% of all births in Cal. are by illegals, who's Med. bills are pd for by the US taxpayers
    -60% of all occupants of HUD properties (for low income people) are illegals
    -43% of all Food Stamps are to illegals
    -41% of all Umemployment cks are to illegals
    -58% of ALL welfare payments are to illegals
    -LESS THAN 2% OF ILLEGALS ACTUALLY WORK PICKING CROPS, but 41% are on welfare.(Blows the "we need them in Agriculture" theory out of the water)
    -62 % of illegals are working for cash and NOT PAYING TAXES.
    -95% of warrants in LA are for illegals
    -Each illegal costs taxpayers $11,000 per year (Taxes they pay minus services received)

    We obviously don't NEED illegals coming to the US, going to city hall and demanding free education, food stamps, housing assistance etc,etc. If I have to pay a little more for food, or anything for that matter, I will still be better off than I am paying for 12-20 million illegal aliens to live here. (not to mention safer)

    August 14, 2007 10:48 pm at 10:48 pm |
  10. Michelle, VA

    Since Bloomberg wants the illegal aliens, I think we should send all 12 million to NYC. Then lets see if he still thinks they "add a heck of a lot more than they cost". Since he's so rich, he can subsidize them instead of the American people.

    August 15, 2007 07:25 am at 7:25 am |
  11. me

    I think Reality Check needs a reality check.

    August 15, 2007 07:32 am at 7:32 am |
  12. Paul Conley, Palmetto Bay, Florida

    If Mr. Bloomberg thinks immigration is good for the economy I propose that we encourage Mexico to accept 12 million immigrants to boost their economy.

    I am sick of the old bromide "we are a nation of immigrants" to justify approval of millions of illegal aliens. I point out that Mexico is a country largely of immigrants but take a look at their immigration laws and enforcement.

    August 15, 2007 09:09 am at 9:09 am |
  13. Tom, Albany, ME

    "Reality check" the fact of the matter is that by not enforcing the immigration laws on the books we create an idea that laws don't matter. If I was a criminal I would be pretty pissed off I was in jail while some guy who broke another law was out in the fields picking vegetables or doing some other supposedly demeaning job.

    You might want to learn about the economy and how it drives and influences technology. If there were less workers then would be a technological drive to modernize farming equipment to lower the need for manual labor. Not to mention the fact that the number of uninsured drivers and people without insurance to cover health problems would also go down. Additionally there would be less money being re-invested in South American countries.

    You also ignore the fact that there are a large number of people who are not paying into social welfare programs. There are also a large number who are paying into the system but using someone elses identity. If all these people were suddenly given a legal status that would completely change the estimates on when programs like Social Security would no longer be able to pay out full benefits. The fact that the government didn't even include that data when they were trying to push the recent immigration legistation down our throats is mind boggling.

    Then again if we stopped buying so much crap from China and putting up with substandard controls on their parts and opened factories in South America maybe there would be more motivation to come to the US since the standard of living would increase significantly. Labor costs would still be cheap and we would benefit by having our neighbors down south benefiting as well. Also it wouldn't help if all welfare recepients had to work to earn their money. If they have a health condition they could still do something that there health can handle.

    But hey our politicians are too busy making sure they get paid later and they are bringing home the pork so things won't be changing anytime soon.

    August 15, 2007 01:49 pm at 1:49 pm |
  14. Tom, Albany, ME

    An example I forgot to add in would be the car industry. The economy didn't collapse with the modernization of automobile production. Not to mention all the other industries which now use robotic labor to do jobs that humans used to do. How would it be any different if the farming industy was modernized in that matter?

    August 15, 2007 01:52 pm at 1:52 pm |
  15. Evan Esteves, Boca Raton, FL

    Haha....Republicans winning in 2008 is laughable at best. Winning because of immigration policy (which was a major defeat for many Republicans in congress and our current President who happens to be a Republican) is even more laughable. Sorry Tom from Massachusetts who is probably a Romney flip flopper supporter, but you're "Reality Check" is quite laughable as well!

    August 16, 2007 12:41 am at 12:41 am |
  16. Ora Titus, South Brunswick, NJ

    Don't run for president, you wouldn't win any votes!

    August 16, 2007 05:38 pm at 5:38 pm |
  17. Tom Dedham, Mass

    Hi Evan, nice to hear from you again:

    "immigration policy (which was a major defeat for many Republicans in congress and our current President who happens to be a Republican"

    The thing you are not getting here is that the PEOPLE this time will get their say (from all walks of life, Republicans, Independents and yes, Democrats) and guess what buddy, they were in agreement with the Republicans (not the idiot Bush or McCain) but the ones that want to throw the crimaliens out.

    I know you must have just learned "neocon" as a word, but sorry pal, it isn't just the neocons who are against amnesty, it is many, many in ALL PARTIES.

    Evan, Is it being a neocon, when you wholeheartedly support LEGAL immigration for everyone but are against ILLEGAL immigration for ANYONE?

    August 16, 2007 08:25 pm at 8:25 pm |