Michael Bloomberg: America Should be Begging Foreign Students to Stay Here

New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg used his commencement address at Stanford University Sunday to push for immigration reform.

Speaking to the assembled, he said of the foreign graduates with student visas in attendance, “If those in Washington had any sense at all, they would be begging you to stay here in the United States.”

MICHAEL BLOOMBERG: About 30 percent of you graduates here are on student visas. If those in Washington had any sense at all, they would be begging you to stay here in the United States. But instead, our immigration laws may force some of you to leave in the months and years ahead. Just think about what that means. We invite foreign students to study here, we subsidize the universities that they attend with research funding and other aid, and then after those students have mastered the material, we tell them to go elsewhere and work for our competitors. It is the most backward economic policy you could possibly come up with, and I’ve called it national suicide because we are destroying our future by turning our backs on history, and we’ve just got to stop it.

Every STEM student graduating here today should have a green card stapled to his or her diploma so that they can help our economy grow. Every child brought to this country illegally should have the opportunity to apply for financial aid and go to college because they have done nothing wrong. Every entrepreneur who wants to come here and start a business and create jobs in this country should have the chance to do so. They are the future leaders of major corporations that will employ millions of Americans. And every business with job openings that can’t be filled should be able to hire an immigrant who wants to work hard.

American immigrants built the world’s most innovative economy, and it is up to them to keep it growing, and if we’re going to keep the American dream alive, we need those in Washington to fix this broken system and fix it right now. […]

We now have a real chance at passing comprehensive, sensible immigration reform this year, and I hope you will make your voices heard as well. Pick up the phone and call your Congressman and call your Senator and say, “We want it and why want it now or I’m not going to vote for you.”

If we are going to win the future, we’ve got to keep the future here by allowing more immigrants to come here and pursue the American dream.  


To be sure, there’s a lot of what Bloomberg said here that all Americans on both sides of the aisle would agree with.

However, the problem with comprehensive immigration reform is that new bad policies will likely be implemented as old bad policies are addressed. This seems to always happen when America does any comprehensive reform.

For example, it is estimated that 40 percent of the current population of illegal immigrants “overstayed” their student or work visas. 

It goes without saying that everyone wants immigration reform. The question is whether with said reforms will come new immigration problems down the road that are conceivably worse than those we’re attempting to rectify.

Legislation for legislation’s seek is bad government. We saw that with the 2009 stimulus package and ObamaCare. Both had serious unintended consequences.

So too might the immigration reform currently being discussed. One such might be the ObamaCare exemption provision.

On its face, this makes sense. However, if illegals are exempted from ObamaCare for a certain numbers of years, that means their employment will actually be cheaper for an employer than hiring someone that's already part of the Affordable Care Act.

As such, let’s try to get this right for a change rather than just passing some bill that nobody’s read so that politicians can pat themselves on the back in preparation for the next few election cycles.

Noel Sheppard
Noel Sheppard
Noel Sheppard, Associate Editor of NewsBusters, passed away in March of 2014.