Former New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg made his first major policy pitch as a civilian on Friday, traveling to Washington to urge Capitol Hill to pass immigration reform this year.
In an appeal to House Republicans, Bloomberg made the economic case for an overhaul of the nation’s immigration laws and said the country was at risk of losing talent from abroad that could generate jobs in the United States.
“Without immigration, we don’t have a future,” Bloomberg said during an appearance at the National Press Club. “They’re going to eat our lunch.”
The former mayor blamed outside groups opposed to reform — which he described as “a small group of people” — for stalling the immigration reform so far.
“What’s really happening here is a small group of people have more to do with the reelection and reelectability of a number of our leaders than the vast bulk of people,” Bloomberg said. “A small committed group raises money, they campaign, they’re on the steps with signs, they write letters, and in the day of social media it looks like millions of people are behind them when it’s really some kid with a computer.”