Remember all of the “Worse than Detroit” and “Take him to… Detroit!” gags in 1977’s Kentucky Fried Movie, the Zucker Brothers’ warm-up run for their breakthrough film Airplane? Perhaps New York’s Mayor Bloomberg has seen the film one too many times, based on this passage in the New York Daily News today:
Mayor Bloomberg has a fix for the nation’s immigration debate: Send ‘em to Detroit.
“If I were the federal government,” Bloomberg told David Gregory on NBC’s Meet the Press Sunday morning. “Assuming you could wave a magic wand and pull everybody together, you pass a law letting immigrants come in as long as they agree to go to Detroit and live there for five or ten years.”
Detroit has suffered a devastating population loss in recent decades, losing 25% of its citizens since the last census.
The immigrants would arrive in Detroit, “start businesses, take jobs whatever,” Bloomberg said. “You would populate Detroit over night because half the world wants to come here … You can use something like immigration policy – at no cost to the federal government – to fix a lot of the problems that we have.”
What, Madagascar is too booked up? This joke self-censored as violation of Godwin’s Law.
Such rhetoric has to inspire a newly-arrived immigrant to Mayor Mike’s city looking to embrace what was once quaintly called the American Dream in less enlightened times. And as Doug Powers writes, imagine how it would play had these words come from a politician with an (R) after his name:
Something tells me that if a politician who actually had a label proposed something like this, he or she would be called anti-immigrant and probably even racist, but Michael Bloomberg often escapes such criticisms because of his concern for the cholesterol level of all of humanity.
But what are the bike lanes like in Detroit?