“Good Morning. This is Mayor Mike Bloomberg.
“Last week, with barbecues and fireworks, New Yorkers came together to celebrate our nation’s independence. One of the nation’s greatest symbols is the Statue of Liberty, which has stood in our city’s harbor for more than 126 years as a beacon of hope for countless immigrants yearning to ‘breathe free.’ When Hurricane Sandy hit our city last fall, it caused enormous damage on Liberty Island and forced the statue to be closed. But on July 4th, after months of work by the National Park Service, I was proud to join federal officials to celebrate Lady Liberty’s re-opening to the public.
“I don’t think we could have re-opened the statue on a more appropriate date. Not only is Lady Liberty a monument to American Independence, but Independence Day is also a time for celebrating our heritage as a place that honors dreams, rewards hard work, and promotes freedom for all. The Statue of Liberty represents those ideals both to Americans and to countless people around the world.
“That’s made the statue an enduring symbol of New York City, too. New York has always been a destination for people from all over the world who are willing to work hard and make better lives for themselves. And that’s why, as Mayor of New York, I’ve always strongly supported – and will continue to support – efforts to fix our broken immigration system.
“A few years ago I helped form a coalition of mayors and business leaders – called the Partnership for a New American Economy – to press for national immigration reform. Immigrants have been central to our nation’s economic prosperity for generations. In fact, 40 percent of Fortune 500 companies were founded by immigrants or their children. Our country needs more immigrants, and we need to make sure those who are here have the opportunity to stay here and help us grow our economy. The enterprise and hard work of immigrants are key reasons why New York has done better than many other cities in the nation in recovering from the national recession. And fixing our broken immigration system would help to strengthen our nation’s economy – now and in the long run.
“Fortunately, Congress is moving on this issue, and the result could be the biggest overhaul of our immigration laws in a generation. Recently, a strong bi-partisan group of Senators passed a bill that will allow us to attract the talented and hard-working people who want to come and stay here to work and start businesses – and help our economy grow. Now, it’s imperative that the House take up this issue, rise above partisanship, and send a comprehensive immigration reform bill to the President for his signature.
“Passing sensible immigration reform would honor the ideals upon which our nation was founded – and that the Statue of Liberty represents. It would also be one of the best things we can do for our economy – and the sooner, the better.
“This is Mayor Mike Bloomberg. Thanks for listening.”