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Mayor Said All Undocumented Immigrants Should Be Made Citizens
From Singtao Daily
May 17, 2003

On his weekly radio show on WABC/770AM yesterday, Mayor Michael Bloomberg said all undocumented immigrants should be made citizens.

“Make everyone who is here and undocumented, just make them citizens,” Bloomberg said. “Let’s get on with it. They’ll become taxpayers. They’ll become productive members of society earlier.”

The mayor made his remarks in response to two callers. The first one called himself Chaim. He is a health-care worker and complained that he is paying taxes while many undocumented immigrants are collecting food stamps, and taking advantage of welfare, school and hospital benefits.

“Why should I pay for those illegal immigrants?” he asked.

In response, the mayor said, “Every economic study that has been done actually says that… undocumented immigrants make more contribution than the services they get.”

Meanwhile, Bloomberg said the United States must protect its borders.

“You must remember, just before 9/11, President George Bush basically proposed a similar idea. He was talking about Mexican immigrants but I think everybody recognized that would be extended to all people who are undocumented.”

Another caller from Manhattan, who called identified himself as “Michael”, challenged the mayor, saying that many people who go to emergency rooms and prisons are also illegal immigrants.

“We want those people to be engaged, get medical care, so they are not sick and their children can stay out of trouble,” Bloomberg said. “The problem is not to put your head in the sand and yell at them.”

“They are here illegally, but they are already here,” Bloomberg said. “They will continue to be here and I’d rather make them citizens. It’s better than the status quo.”

Translated from Chinese by Larry Tung

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