Anti-immigrant policy is ‘suicide’: New York mayor

NEW YORK, September 28, 2011 (AFP) – Visa policies that keep skilled workers from settling in the United States amount to “national suicide,” New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg said Wednesday. “These businesses will hire American workers, and immigrants are more than twice as likely as those born in America to start a new company,” he said. “A recent study shows that US job creation in the last 30 years is entirely attributable to startup companies.”

The mayor, a strong supporter of immigration reform, said that current restrictions are hobbling the country in an increasingly fierce, international contest for the best-educated and most skilled workforce.

“As a result, America no longer is the inevitable crossroads for enterprise and innovation. Countries from Asia to South America now beckon with opportunity. So the United States simply has to compete like never before for talent,” he said in a speech.

Bloomberg, who before becoming mayor in 2002 built the hugely successful financial data and news company Bloomberg LP, said US visa rules are “sabotaging our own economy. I’ve called it national suicide — and I think it really is.”

The heart of the problem, according to Bl