New York, Feb 1 (IANS) Michael Bloomberg, US media tycoon and a Democratic presidential contender, has said that America cannot shut its doors to immigrants, while advocating a path to citizenship for the country’s estimated 11 million undocumented immigrants.
Bloomberg made the remarks on Friday in an Efe news interview.
When asked if his ideas on immigration were similar to those of his rivals, Bloomberg said that the “the country has to be in control of its borders. No country can go without that”.
“This country needs immigrants. Birth rate is too low and we need constant challenging of our culture and cuisine and technologies. We need immigrants from around the world. So you have to balance those two things,” the former New York Mayor said.
He further said that the US is a “compassionate country and we should do something to try to help”.
When asked if he was in favour of decriminalizing crossing the border without papers, the tycoon said that despite being in control of the borders, “to give them (immigrants) a criminal record, is just not an intelligent thing to do”.
A spokeswoman for the Bloomberg campaign told Efe news later that the candidate was calling for flexibility on the part of authorities at the border, not for changing the law, as advocated by some Democrats.
Bloomberg also said that he would end family separations at the border instantly if he was elected to office.
He also stressed the need for Latinos to vote if they wanted their voices to be heard and said that he would support the 2020 Democratic candidate – whoever it is – against President Donald Trump.
“Latino voters are 25 per cent of the country now… Their votes count like everybody else’s. Latinos can be a bigger part of the election if more come out to vote.
“But that’s true of every ethnic group. The key is to show up at the polls and express yourself,” he told Efe news.
Bloomberg officially announced his entry in the 2020 Democratic presidential race on November 24, 2019 with the aim to “defeat Donald Trump and rebuild America”.
He has already spent about $120 million in digital and television advertising since he joined the crowded presidential race.