Bloomberg immigration plan calls for ending Trump policies that ‘run counter to American values’
Former New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg unveiled an immigration plan Monday, drawing a sharp contrast with President Trump 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.
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 Sanders (I-Vt.) has called for such a moratorium, and fellow candidate Sen. Elizabeth Warren (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.