Chief executives of several major corporations, including Disney CEO Robert Iger and News Corporation mogul Rupert Murdoch, are joining Mayor Michael Bloomberg in a coalition advocating for changes to immigration policy.
The mayor's Partnership for a New American Economy says it will lobby for better border control, more visas, an improved social security number verification system and a path to citizenship for the country's 12 million illegal immigrants. The CEOs of Hewlett-Packard and Boeing are among other business leaders who've joined the mayors' group.
Murdoch joined the mayor on Fox TV, where they said they want to re-frame the debate. Improving immigration policies would be good for the economy, they said.
Advocates for immigrants are excited about the coalition.
"The set of leaders that the mayor pulled together today will act as a powerful antidote to those others who are wishing to derail reform for short-sighted political gain," said Chung-Wha Hong of the New York Immigration Coalition.
The new group caught the attention of Republican Assemblyman Greg Ball of Westchester and Dutchess Counties. He says if the new coalition helps get the border under control, then -- sure -- there's room to talk.
"I think that those on the right of this issue have to make their ultimatum securing the border," Ball said. "Because if they focus on deporting the 12 to 18 million illegal immigrants who live here now, it'll be a third rail that will kill the issue overall."