New York mayor stumps for immigration reform

New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg speaks to the media on July 31, 2012 in New York City. Bloomberg is traveling to Chicago and Boston to press for bipartisan immigration reform as a way to stimulate the economy.

Jeff Horwich: The presidential campaign is dominated by talk about jobs, Wall Street, the deficit -- especially now that Paul Ryan is in the race. One perennial subject is lost in the shuffle: immigration reform. New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg is running his own sort of campaign to change that. He'll hit events today in Chicago and Boston.

Here's Marketplace's Jeff Tyler.

Jeff Tyler: Mayor Bloomberg hopes to draw awareness to what he considers dysfunctional federal immigration policies. John Feinblatt is Mayor Bloomberg’s chief policy advisor.

John Feinblatt: We’ve got policies in this country that are just shooting ourselves in the foot. We educate foreign students in science, technology, engineering and math. And then, when we hand them their diploma, we also hand them a one-way ticket back to their country.

Each year, the U.S. issues around 70,000 visas for highly-skilled workers. That number falls to 10,000 for entrepreneurs. And those visas are more restrictive.

Demetrios Papademetriou is president of the Migration Policy Institute.

Demetrios Papademetriou: All of which make it more difficult for people to be able to invest in the United States.

He says the U.S. competes for the most talented workers with countries like Canada and the U.K. Those countries fine-tune their visa policies almost annually. By contrast, the U.S. hasn’t significantly changed immigration policies in over20 years.

I’m Jeff Tyler for Marketplace.

About the author

Jeff Tyler is a reporter for Marketplace’s Los Angeles bureau, where he reports on issues related to immigration and Latin America.


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