New York City Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg has a proposal to solve the nation’s illegal-immigration problem: invite the new arrivals to earn their citizenship by living and working in Detroit for a few years.
“Take a look at the big, old industrial cities — Detroit, for example,” he said on NBC’s “Meet the Press” on Sunday. “They’ve got a great mayor, Mayor [Dave] Bing. But the population has left. You’ve got to do something about that.
“And 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 agree to go to Detroit and live there for five or 10 years — start businesses, take jobs, whatever. You would populate Detroit overnight because half the world wants to come here.” (emphasis mine)
“You can use something like immigration policy — at no cost to the federal government — to fix a lot of the problems that we have,” he said.
First off, it’s a bit unseemly to envision a piece of legislation here in the U.S. which would basically “round people up” and force them to live and work in a specified place.
Second, Detroit? There’s a reason the area has lost such a huge chunk of population over the past decades, 25% in the last ten years. The jobs related to the American auto industry, which provided the foundation for much of the city’s growth, have fallen by the wayside as the industry has dwindled. Sorry Mr. Bloomberg, there are no “jobs to take” there. Pushing a large population into the city without a corresponding number of positions for them to fill is not going the bring the city back to prosperity.
Fortunately for Bloomberg, his comments are likely to go unnoticed with the announcement of Osama Bin Laden’s death today.