Bloomberg immigration plan calls for ending Trump policies that 'run counter to American values'

Bloomberg immigration plan calls for ending Trump policies that 'run counter to American values'
© Greg Nash

Former New York City Mayor Michael BloombergMichael BloombergBiden's great challenge: Build an economy for long-term prosperity and security The secret weapon in Biden's fight against climate change Sanders celebrates Biden-Harris victory: 'Thank God democracy won out' MORE unveiled an immigration plan Monday, drawing a sharp contrast with President TrumpDonald John TrumpTrump rages against '60 Minutes' for interview with Krebs Cornyn spox: Neera Tanden has 'no chance' of being confirmed as Biden's OMB pick Pa. lawmaker was informed of positive coronavirus test while meeting with Trump: report MORE on his signature issue and promising to "end policies that run counter to our deepest values as Americans."

In a 10-page document, Bloomberg proposed a path to citizenship for the approximately 11 million undocumented immigrants living in the United States, protections for beneficiaries of programs Trump has sought to end, an overhaul of immigration enforcement and border agencies and a moratorium on border wall construction.

The White House hopeful, who has been rising quickly in national polls, also called for an increase in legal immigration to fill labor market gaps and establishing a program to help immigrants better culturally adapt and naturalize.

“President Trump’s demonization of immigrants and his fueling of fear and hatred are an ugly chapter in American history that we must close,” Bloomberg said in a statement. “The fact is that immigration doesn’t threaten America, it strengthens America."

"America doesn’t need more of Trump’s fear mongering – what we need is a modern immigration system that honors our history and readies us for the future and, as president, I’ll get it done,” Bloomberg added.

Trump's policies that have sparked outrage on the left include his administration's travel ban, which was expanded last month. The administration's earlier practice of separating migrant families at the southern border drew bipartisan backlash in 2018 and prompted Trump to revise his zero-tolerance immigration policy.

Bloomberg's immigration plan would represent a stark change from Trump's policies on the matter, but the former mayor stopped short of calling for a halt to deportations.

Democratic presidential front-runner Sen. Bernie SandersBernie SandersBiden announces all-female White House communications team The 'diploma divide' in American politics Bernie Sanders should opt for a government-created vaccine from China or Russia MORE (I-Vt.) has called for such a moratorium, and fellow candidate Sen. Elizabeth WarrenElizabeth WarrenInequality of student loan debt underscores possible Biden policy shift Thomas Piketty says pandemic is opportunity to address income inequality The Memo: Biden faces tough road on pledge to heal nation MORE (D-Mass.) has said she's open to the idea.

Still, Bloomberg's plan represents a direct appeal to progressives who loathe Trump's immigration policies, and to immigrant communities who are affected by them.

A key component of Bloomberg's proposal would protect the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) and Temporary Protected Status (TPS) programs, which together grant temporary immigration benefits to about 1 million undocumented immigrants, mostly Hispanics.

While DACA and TPS beneficiaries cannot vote, their permanence has symbolic value to Latino communities in many parts of the country, and they are tied to millions of eligible voters through familial and community links.

Bloomberg's campaign is investing heavily in courting Hispanic voters, who will play a major role in Super Tuesday states like California and Texas on March 3, the first time Bloomberg will appear on the ballot in his White House bid.