Nice editorial from the New York Post:
MIKE'S IMMIGRANT MUDDLE
http://www.nypost.com/postopinion/edito ... orial_.htm
July 7, 2006 -- (New York City) Mayor Mike Bloomberg stood before a U.S. Senate panel studying immigration Wednesday and unloaded testimony larded with contradictions and, to be kind, half-truths.
But he did it with passion, so nobody seemed to notice - or care - that he pulled his "facts" from thin air.
Like his claim that "the city's economy would be a shell of itself" if it weren't for illegal immigrants. And that "it would collapse if they were deported."
More than 24 hours later, his aides still couldn't produce any solid evidence to support such dramatic claims.
True, they did claim that illegals make up 12 percent of the city's labor force and that their spending and presence helps the city grow.
And if someone was to wave a wand and make them all disappear, doubtless it would have an impact.
But a "collapsed" economy?
The fact is that the city's financial-services and tourism sectors are the engines that drive New York City's economy - and neither is dependent on illegal-immigrant labor.
And Bloomberg knows it.
But don't let it be said that Mayor Mike doesn't want to get tough on illegal immigration.
In fact, he wants the feds to crack down on firms that hire illegals.
"We must reduce the incentive to come here illegally," he said, by taking away employment opportunities.
He called for "stiff penalties for businesses that fail to conduct [immigration status] checks or ignore their results."
And he poked fun at the federal law that says "employers are not even permitted to ask probing questions" about immigration status.
By executive order, the mayor himself prohibits city employees from asking such questions of suspected illegals.
Indeed, Bloomberg's directive actually goes further. It instructs city agencies to "encourage aliens to make use" of municipal services - among them welfare, health care and public-school placement.
So while Hizzoner sees job opportunities as an "incentive" that must be removed, he doesn't see a Medicaid card as an immigration incentive - not at all.
Maybe his goal is to make sure illegals can't work so they have to come to the city government for help.
He certainly was quick to make fun of The Post's Douglas Montero, who was able to buy an illegal green card and a Social Security card for $110 in just three hours on the city's streets.
"Green cards are a dime a dozen," Mayor Mike said - adding later, "It looks to me like [Montero] paid retail. My understanding is that for half the price they could have gotten just as good a green card."
Very clever, except that Bloomberg is sworn to uphold the law - not to poke fun at evidence of blatant lawbreaking.
Immigrants continue to make vital economic and social contributions to New York, and to America. But unchecked illegal immigration is a recipe for social chaos of a sort not seen in this country for decades.
On which side does Bloomberg stand?
He has the issue surrounded, or so it seems.
He needs to think things through.