New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg argued on behalf of looser immigration reform laws during a meeting at the Council on Foreign Relations in Washington, D.C., according to published reports.
Bloomberg, who is the co-chair of the Partnership for a New American Economy, said in his address the US risks “national suicide” if it does not adopt a more welcoming immigration policy, Politico reports.
“We will not remain a global superpower if we continue to close our doors to people who want to come here to work hard, start businesses, and pursue the American dream,” Bloomberg said.
Bloomberg referred to a new study by the Partnership for a New American Economy, which found that 40 percent of Fortune 500 companies were founded by either an immigrant or the child of an immigrant. Together, the companies employ about 10 million people across the globe and generate $4.2 trillion of annual revenue.
Bloomberg said the federal government should alter its laws to make it easier for illegal immigrants to become US citizens. For instance, he suggested giving green cards to college graduates with degrees in certain fields, according to The Associated Press.
Currently, foreign students studying at American universities must obtain academic visas. However, the US State Department reports those visas expire after the student has completed his or her education.