Kicking off a weekend of events that were dedicated to the immigration heritage of the United States, Michael Bloomberg, the Mayor of New York, said on Friday that the time is now for immigration reform in the country. A bipartisan delegation consisting of over 70 community and political leaders from all across the United States were told by Bloomberg that the country is badly in need of an updated immigration system that “welcomes the entrepreneurs and the hard workers that will grow our nation’s economy.”
The remarks were made by the independent mayor at Gracie Mansion in the midst of the Becoming America Congressional Pilgrimage, which is a three-day event attended by the likes of Democratic Representatives Mario Diaz-Balart from Florida and Joseph Crowley from New York, which was organized by the Faith & Politics Institute, a non-profit organization.
Almost half of the small business owners in New York City are immigrants, according to Bloomberg. “Immigrants really are the key to the future of New York – and to the prosperity of our nation,” the Mayor claims.
The forum convened at a number of different historical sites across the city, including the Museum of Jewish Heritage, the September 11th memorial and Ellis Island. Speaking at a naturalization ceremony that was held for new citizens on Friday, Crowley related how his grandfather immigrated to the United States from Ireland in 1912. “You have sacrificed, you have struggled, you have persisted,” he noted. “Each of you has a story of how hard it has been to get here today.”