DETROIT (AP) — Detroit should take a page from Lady Liberty and shine a beacon of welcome to immigrants as a way to overcome its severe population loss, New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg said Sunday.

Bloomberg floated the proposal during an appearance on NBC-TV’s “Meet the Press.”

Unlike many of America’s central cities, New York has seen its population inch up, thanks in large part to a steady influx of immigrants.

Its newcomer-friendly spirit is enshrined in Emma Lazarus’s words engraved on the Statue of Liberty, in which the statue is quoted as saying: “I lift my lamp beside the golden door!”

Bloomberg’s prescription for Detroit’s salvation came in a discussion about what he called a “crisis of confidence” among business people about the nation’s economy. Bloomberg said the “most obvious” answer is to encourage immigration.

“This is a country that was built by immigrants … that became a superpower because of its immigrant population, and unless we continue to have immigrants, we cannot maintain as a superpower,” he said.

“Take a look at the big, old, industrial cities, Detroit, for example,” he said. “They’ve got a great mayor, Mayor (Dave) Bing, but the population has left. You’ve got to do something about that. And if I were the federal government, assuming you could wave a magic wand and pull everybody together, you pass a law letting immigrants come in as long as they agreed to go to Detroit and live there for five or ten years. Start businesses, take jobs, whatever.”

Detroit has seen its population fall from 1.8 million in the 1950 U.S. Census to 714,000 in 2010. The population dropped 26 percent in the last decade alone.

“You would populate Detroit overnight because half the world wants to come here,” Bloomberg said. “We still are the world’s greatest democracy. We still have hope that if you want to have a better life for yourself and your kids, this is where you want to come.”

(Copyright 2011 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)

Comments (4)
  1. RUKiddingMe says:

    The taxes are getting higher so people leave.
    But the illegals stay and put a drain on remaining taxpayers so more leave.

    I guess the socialist union class in detrash city don’t have a clue.
    Lower taxes, and get rid of illegals. Stop the welfare state!

    Conservative honest hardworking Voters need to voice your opinion next election and start voting out socialist.
    Or you’ll be leaving next.

  2. peter says:

    So in essence, bloomberg is telling us to break the laws in order to solve a problem in detroit. Illegal immigration is still against the law bloomberg, have you forgotten this? Or are you wanting to continue to break the law of the land in the same way you did when you changed the laws in nyc to run a third term. You could care less about immigrants, all you care about how much dinero you can make off of them.

  3. Barrick Obama says:

    Wrong. Burn the whole country down abd re-build it from scratch. You owe so much debt to the rest of the world that it is worth to do just that.

  4. Albert says:

    Personally, going broke in NYC, I don’t give two hoots what Bloomberg thinks about Detroit. Does this “buy No Term Limits” Mayor even know what freaking city he’s supposed to be helping. “Cause we sure don’t feel it out here in Brooklyn, Bub.!

Leave a Reply