Democratic presidential candidate Michael Bloomberg released a sweeping immigration proposal on Monday in which he pledged to launch an investigation into alleged Immigration and Customs Enforcement “abuses.”
In his ten-page proposal, Bloomberg pledges to launch a Department of Justice probe into the 400 allegations of sexual assault or abuse reported against ICE since 2017 while limiting the opportunity for future abuses by “significantly reducing immigrant detention for those who do not pose a threat to public safety.”
The proposal also calls for extending the legal status of participants in the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program, which protects from deportation undocumented immigrants who were brought into the country as children, and those in the Temporary Protected Status program, which shields immigrants who cannot return home due to natural disaster or armed conflict.
Bloomberg would also implement a place-based visa system, which would allow states and localities to accept immigrants to help address the economic and social needs of different locations. The plan would encourage professionals to apply for visas, including doctors, nurses, entrepreneurs, and international students.
The former New York City mayor promised not to embrace policies that “run counter to American values,” such as President Trump’s travel ban, a southern border wall, or family separations at the border.
After heavy bipartisan backlash, the Trump administration in June, 2018 shuttered its “zero tolerance” policy of allowing children to be separated from their parents after the family crossed the border illegally. Over the previous year, migrant children were separated and housed separately from their parents as the adults were prosecuted.
“President Trump’s demonization of immigrants and his fueling of fear and hatred are an ugly chapter in American history that we must close,” Bloomberg said in a statement.
“America doesn’t need more of Trump’s fear mongering – what we need is a modern immigration system that honors our history and readies us for the future and, as president, I’ll get it done,” Bloomberg continued. “The fact is that immigration doesn’t threaten America, it strengthens America.”
However, Bloomberg did not call for a halt to all deportations, as fellow 2020 contender Senator Bernie Sanders has done, and which Senator Elizabeth Warren has considered.
Bloomberg will appear on the ballot for the first time in the Democratic primary on Super Tuesday on March 3, when several states with large Hispanic populations vote, including Texas and California.