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Mayor Bloomberg Joins Mayors And Business Leaders To Form <i>partnership For A New American Economy</i>

June 24, 2010

National Partnership Will Push for Immigration Reform to Fix Broken Borders and Keep America Open to the Best, Brightest and Hardest-Working People From Around the World

Mayor Bloomberg Announces Co-Chairs Mark Hurd, Chairman, CEO and President of Hewlett-Packard; Robert Iger, President and CEO, Walt Disney Co.; J.W. Marriott, Jr., Chairman and CEO of Marriott International, Inc.; Jim McNerney, Chairman, President and CEO of Boeing; Rupert Murdoch, Chairman, CEO and Founder of News Corporation; Mayor Julián Castro of San Antonio; Mayor Phil Gordon of Phoenix; Mayor Michael Nutter of Philadelphia; and Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa of Los Angeles.

Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg was joined by News Corporation Chairman, CEO and Founder Rupert Murdoch to launch the “Partnership for a New American Economy,” a coalition of mayors and business leaders from across the country that will make an economic case for sensible immigration reform. The partnership will recruit members that support comprehensive immigration reform that secures our borders and helps America remain economically competitive by keeping and attracting the world’s best, brightest and hardest-working. America has the most dynamic entrepreneurs and workers in the world, but currently it is too difficult to draw global talent that helps fuel economic growth. The partnership will enable Mayors and CEOs to demonstrate to policymakers the vital role that immigration plays in our economy by publishing studies, conducting polls, convening forums, and sponsoring public education campaigns.

“Immigrants have always been an essential part of America’s economic strength,” said Mayor Bloomberg.  “This coalition was formed to change our current immigration policy, which is undermining our economy and threatening our status as the world’s leading power. Too many innovative new companies, and the jobs they create, are being formed overseas because entrepreneurs can’t get a green card to start them here. We need to break the legislative stalemate that has taken over Congress if we want the U.S. to remain competitive in the 21st century.”

“American ingenuity is a product of the openness and diversity of this society,” said Rupert Murdoch. “Immigrants have made America great as the world leader in business, science, higher education and innovation. As an immigrant myself, I believe that this country can and must enact new immigration policies that fulfill our employment needs, provide a careful pathway to legal status for undocumented residents, and end illegal immigration.”

According to studies, twenty-five percent of US high-tech startups created in the last ten years have at least one immigrant as a founder1; immigrants generate over 5 percent of America’s gross domestic product2; and immigrant-owned companies have created over 400,000 jobs since 19903.

The co-chairs from the business community direct companies that are leaders in their industries and combined employ nearly 800,000 people and make over $260 billion in annual sales; the mayors represent some of the country’s largest cities, with a combined population of over 16 million residents.  The coalition’s membership will recruit other business leaders and mayors who see the economic value to immigration reform. 

“Promoting continued US leadership in the global technology industry requires balanced immigration reform,” said Hewlett-Packard Chairman, CEO and President Mark Hurd. “Mayor Bloomberg’s Partnership provides the right roadmap for improving U.S. immigration policy.”

“This country is built on the contributions of immigrants, whose different perspectives and ideas create new possibilities,” said Walt Disney Company President and CEO Robert Iger.  “It’s our great strength as a nation, and it’s also critical for continued economic growth.  To remain competitive in the 21st century, we need effective immigration reform that invites people to contribute to our shared success by building their own American dream.”

“We couldn’t operate our hotels in the U.S. without workers from other countries,” said Marriott International Chairman and CEO J.W. Marriott, Jr. “In some of our hotels, we have upwards of 50 languages spoken—and that diversity represents our customers who travel from around the world to visit our great country. Our business isn’t easy; it is 24/7 and great service to guests can’t be automated or outsourced. We rely on the best, service-oriented talent from the U.S. and around the world to sustain and grow our business.”

“I commend Mayor Bloomberg for his leadership in establishing the Partnership for a New American Economy to open the dialogue and inspire action on a critically important issue – one that will play a big part in our nation’s competitiveness and ability to create and sustain jobs for years to come,” said Boeing Chairman, President and CEO Jim McNerney.

“We need to hit the reset button to bring the immigration debate out of the realm of political theater and into the arena of public policy,” said San Antonio Mayor Julián Castro. “To succeed in the 21st century economy, America must balance the need for border security against the realities of our aging workforce and the spirit of entrepreneurial innovation that has made this country great.”

“Every day in the City of Phoenix and across Arizona we experience firsthand the cost of Congress’ failure to sensibly reform our nation’s immigration laws,” said Phoenix Mayor Phil Gordon. “Delays at the federal level have created tension in our streets and economic hardship for our already budget-challenged cities and communities. Immigration reform that secures our borders and encourages legal migration is absolutely essential to our country's economic recovery and to safeguarding the freedoms every citizen holds dear.”

“Since Philadelphia’s founding more than 300 years ago, we have welcomed immigrants from all over the world,” said Philadelphia Mayor Michael Nutter. “Today, Philadelphia and cities across the country remain beacons of hope and freedom for new Americans. Immigrants have started new businesses here, re-energized many urban neighborhoods and have made important contributions in professions like health care, technology, law and finance. There is no denying the pivotal role immigrants play in America’s economic future, and I am proud to stand with other national leaders who support comprehensive federal immigration reform.”

“We are a nation of immigrants who have come to this country to enrich their lives, and in turn, enrich our country,” said Mayor Villaraigosa. “We are long overdue in changing our outdated and ineffective federal immigration policies that do not address the security concerns facing us in a post-9/11 world and do not support the needs of our global economy.”      

About the Partnership for New American Economy:

The coalition will work with Congress and the White House to pass legislation that embodies the following principles:

  • Secure our borders and prevent illegal immigration through tougher enforcement and better use of technology;
  • Develop a simple and secure system for employers to verify employment eligibility and hold businesses that are not compliant, or abuse visa programs, accountable for their actions;
  • Increase opportunities for immigrants to enter the United States workforce – and for foreign students to stay in the United States to work – so that we can attract and keep the best, the brightest and the hardest-working, who will strengthen our economy;
  • Create a streamlined process by which employers can get the seasonal and permanent employees they need, when Americans aren’t filling vacant jobs;
  • Establish a path to legal status for the undocumented currently living in the United States with requirements such as registering with the federal government, learning English, paying taxes and following all laws; and
  • Strengthen federal, state, local, and employer-sponsored programs that offer English language, civics, and educational classes to immigrants.

The co-chairs joining Mayor Bloomberg to build the Partnership for a New American Economy are:

  • Mark Hurd, Chairman, CEO and President of Hewlett-Packard; the world’s largest information technology company.
  • Robert Iger, President and CEO, Walt Disney Co.; one of the world’s premier family entertainment and media companies.
  •  J.W. Marriott, Jr., Chairman and CEO of Marriott International, Inc.; one of the world’s leading lodging companies.
  • Jim McNerney, Chairman, CEO and President of Boeing; the world’s largest aerospace company.
  • Rupert Murdoch, News Corporation Founder, Chairman & CEO; one of the world’s largest media companies.
  • Mayor Julian Castro, elected in 2009, is the Mayor of San Antonio, Texas, the 7th largest city in the U.S.
  • Mayor Phil Gordon, elected in 2003, is the Mayor of Phoenix, Arizona, the 5th largest city in the U.S.
  • Mayor Michael Nutter, elected in 2007, is the Mayor of Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, the 6th largest city in the U.S.
  • Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa, elected in 2005, is the Mayor of Los Angeles, California, the 2nd largest city in the U.S.

Other founding members include:

  • Ken Chenault, Chairman and CEO, American Express; a leading global payments, network and travel company.
  • James P. Gorman, President and CEO, Morgan Stanley; one of the world's foremost financial institutions. 
  • Rob Speyer, President and Co-CEO, Tishman Speyer; one of the leading owners, developers, operators, and managers of first-class real estate in the world.
  • Fred Wilpon, Owner, Chairman and CEO, New York Mets; Chairman and Co-founder, Sterling Equities, a commercial rental firm.
  • Deborah Wright, President and CEO, Carver BanCorp; the holding company for Carver Federal Savings Bank, the largest African-American operated bank in the U.S.
  • Mort Zuckerman is Editor-in-Chief of US News & World Report; Publisher and owner of the NY Daily News and Chairman, Director, CEO and Co-Founder of Boston Properties, a commercial real estate firm.

1Wadhwa, Vivek; Saxenian, AnnaLee; Rissing, Ben and Gereffi, Gary, “America's New Immigrant Entrepreneurs: Part I,” Duke Science, Technology & Innovation Paper No. 23, January 2007.

2Tamar Jacoby, "Immigration Nation," Foreign Affairs, November/December 2006.

3Anderson, Stuart and Michaela Platzer. “American Made: The Impact of Immigrants and Professionals on U.S. Competitiveness.”  National Venture Capital Association, 2006.

Stu Loeser / Jason Post

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