HIAS Applauds Mayor Bloomberg's Endorsement of Immigrant Contributions

Posted on Mon, Jan 04, 2010 at 11:01 am

(New York, NY) – HIAS, the international migration agency of the American Jewish community, strongly applauds the positive remarks about immigrants and immigration made by Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg in his inaugural address over the weekend.

According to Gideon Aronoff, President & CEO of HIAS: “We at HIAS strongly concur with Mayor Bloomberg that New York City owes its vibrant success to the immigrants who have arrived at its gateways for three centuries. We extend his sentiment to include the entire United States: We live in the only country on the earth that has created one nation from many. Our strength is derived from those who have arrived on our shores to seek new lives, building futures for themselves and enriching our communities and the country.

“We believe that 2010 will be a seminal year for comprehensive immigration reform (CIR). President Obama has signaled Congress that this is a priority, and we already have seen an encouraging change in detention policy, which as of today favors the release of asylum seekers from detention while they are waiting for their cases to be heard in immigration court.

“We believe the entire immigration system can be reformed to ensure that immigrants are treated fairly and humanely, while providing this country with adequate security from those who would do us harm. It is particularly incumbent on the Jewish community – whose teachings and texts emphasize kindness to the stranger – to rally around CIR. We look forward to working with them, plus those on the frontline, like Mayor Bloomberg, and with national leaders in passing CIR in 2010.”

Excerpts from the Inaugural Address of Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg, January 1, 2010, New York City:

"No city on Earth - no city - should hold these principles higher aloft than this city of immigrants, because no city on earth has been more rewarded by immigrant labor, more renewed by immigrant ideas, more revitalized by immigrant culture, than the City of New York.

"And when I listen to the outstanding students we've had here today from the Newcomers School, I feel more strongly than ever that the future of our city, and our country, depends on newcomers like them, and on whether we honor the ideals that have lit the lamp of liberty in our harbor for more than a century, and that continue to inspire the world!

"Immigrants helped make New York City the world capital of opportunity and entrepreneurism, and now we will make City government a global leader in supporting and encouraging entrepreneurs."