Mayor Michael Bloombergs suggestion to allow new immigrants into America just as long as they help repopulate a blighted Detroit was met with contempt Sunday in Hizzoners home city and beyond.
Its against human rights, said Michelle Risa, 60, of Murray Hill. He should move to Detroit if hes suggesting a solution. Would he like to be told where to go?
Bloomberg, appearing on NBCs Meet the Press to talk about the nations economy, suggested that declining industrial cities such as Detroit could be rebuilt with the help of immigrants.
If I were the federal government, assuming you could wave a magic wand and pull everybody together, you pass a law letting immigrants come in as long as they agreed to go to Detroit and live there for five or ten years, Bloomberg said. Start businesses, take jobs, whatever.
The suggestion by the immigration-friendly mayor left many baffled.
Sending people there isnt going to create jobs, added Adrian Rubio, 39, of midtown. People are leaving because there are no jobs there.
It may be great for Detroit because it could revive its population, but its ludicrous, said Carol Swain, a political science professor at Vanderbilt University who believes that the country should worry about enforcing immigration laws instead. We have 11 to 18 million undocumented persons that are competing with American citizens for jobs, for health care, for education, for a decent standard of living.
A spokeswoman for Detroit Mayor Dave Bing said Sunday that the Motor City could use some revving up and is open to helpful ideas, especially after it lost an astounding 25 percent of its population between 2000 and 2010.
Again, ideas are just that there has to be a reality component to them to make sure they can really work, said spokeswoman Karen Dumas.
Andrew Friedman, co-executive director of Make the Road New York, a Brooklyn-based immigrant advocacy group, said Bloomberg is spot on by suggesting that immigrants change a citys landscape for the better.
The reality is that New York would look a lot like Detroit without the immigrant spirit that is here, Friedman said.
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