Statement on Mayor Bloomberg’s Inaugural Address

Dear Friends,
Today, New York City Mayor Bloomberg made the following important
announcement regarding immigration reform, as part of his inauguration
speech.  While we have been in discussion with his administration
about this for a while, today’s public announcement seals his
commitment into action.  And hopefully, ups the pressure for President
Obama to also address immigration in his state of the nation speech.
We look forward to working with all of you to leverage as much
leadership as possible from Mayor Bloomberg and other local elected
officials across the country.  Our statement is below the speech.

Mayor Bloomberg inauguration speech.  Immigration excerpt below.  Full
text at

“Now, we’ll set our sights on another national issue that affects New
Yorkers in profoundly personal ways: immigration reform.

“With leaders from across the country, we will assemble a bi-partisan
coalition to support President Obama’s call for comprehensive
immigration reform that honors our history, upholds our values, and
promotes our economy.

“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.”



January 1, 2010, New York City.  The following is a statement by Ms.
Chung-Wha Hong, executive director of the New York Immigration

We are honored to salute the three citywide officials sworn into
office today:  our new public advocate, Bill de Blasio; our new
comptroller, John C. Liu; and our returning mayor, Michael R.

How fitting for the students from Newcomers High School to emcee
today’s inaugural ceremony!  Just two or three years in this
country—arriving from Guinea, the Dominican Republic, Mexico,
Bangladesh, China—these students proudly call themselves New Yorkers
and embody all that that identity entails:  courage, determination,
open-mindedness, a commitment to community, a certain daring, and a
keen sense of humor.

It’s a new year, a new decade, and a new opportunity—a special
opportunity, and a responsibility, as the Mayor rightly pointed
out—for New York City to lead the nation in confronting the challenges
facing us.  Not least among these challenges is immigration reform,
and we wholeheartedly welcome the mayor’s pledge to build a bipartisan
coalition of mayors and others across the nation to help President
Obama realize his promise of passing comprehensive immigration reform.
Indeed, we could not agree with him more when he stated that
immigration reform “honors our history, upholds our values and
promotes the economy.” We expect Mayor Bloomberg’s announcement today
to add critical momentum to legislative movement to enact a
comprehensive immigration reform bill this year.

The mayor’s decision to assume a central role in mobilizing his peers
across the nation on immigration will surely bolster New York’s
federal legislative leadership that includes Congresswoman Nydia
Velazquez, chair of the Congressional Hispanic Caucus, and Senator
Charles Schumer, chair of the Senate Immigration Subcommittee.  We
applaud the New York leaders’ chutzpah in defying conventional wisdom
by tackling a tough issue, and we are proud for New York to lead the

As we embark on a new year, we are primed to redouble our efforts with
our allies across the city, state, and country—including our mayor,
our representatives in Washington, and our president—to move
immigration reform over the finish line.  We owe it to the brilliant
students from Newcomers High School, to all their families—indeed, to
all Americans—to make it happen.

The New York Immigration Coalition is an umbrella policy advocacy
organization with nearly 200 member groups in New York State that
works for justice and opportunity for immigrants.  For more
information, visit

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