Michael Bloomberg

Former Mayor of New York City | Former 2020 Democratic Presidential Candidate

Michael Bloomberg was a late entrant into the 2020 race for the Democratic nomination for president of the United States, announcing his campaign in late 2019 as the candidacy of Joe Biden appeared to falter. The conventional thinking was that Bloomberg — a successful businessman and former three-term mayor of New York City — could capture the support of Democrats eager for a popular centrist who could win over moderates in a general election. After Biden regained his footing on Super Tuesday, Bloomberg dropped his bid and endorsed the former vice president.

With a promise to spend a significant portion of his personal fortune to help oust Donald Trump from the White House, Bloomberg will remain an influential player through the general election.

Bloomberg’s centrist bona fides include running for New York City mayor as a Republican in 2001. Before entering politics, he was a lifelong Democrat. He served his third term as mayor as an Independent, and officially returned to the Democratic Party in 2018. Supporters of his 2020 presidential campaign pointed to Bloomberg’s success as the CEO and co-founder of Bloomberg L.P., which was thought to project the image of a strong technocrat and capitalist that could hold appeal for right-of-center voters.

Bloomberg’s appeal to liberals comes largely on his record as a philanthropist and advocate for such causes as gun control and tackling climate change. Regarding immigration, in 2010 Bloomberg founded the New American Economy, a pro-immigration, bipartisan coalition of business leaders and mayors who advocate for the positive impacts that immigrants have on the economy. In 2017, the organization released New Americans and a New Direction: The Role of Immigrants in Reviving the Great Lakes Region, a report that demonstrated the positive role immigrants have played in revitalizing many Rust Belt cities. And in 2018, the organization targeted senators with a TV and phone campaign to urge them to protect Dreamers.

The website of New American Economy asks a simple question that is front and center in this election: “What if we could see past deep-seated divisions that have stood in the way of progress on this issue, and talk about the true, measurable benefits of immigration?”


Bloomberg’S IDEAS

  • Border Security

    Through New American Economy, Bloomberg supports securing “our borders” and preventing “illegal immigration through tougher enforcement and better use of technology,” including improvements at the country’s ports of entry.

  • Border Wall

    Bloomberg has vowed to end construction of “Trump’s ineffective wall.”

  • Detention

    Bloomberg has pledged to promote “alternatives to detention for individuals and families who pose no threat to public safety.” He has pledged to observe the Flores Agreement and end the prolonged detention of children, placing them in community-based alternatives to detention “as quickly as possible.” Bloomberg also supports ending use of for-profit detention centers.

  • Immigration Courts

    Bloomberg supports guaranteeing legal counsel for all minors in the immigration court system and expanding access to counsel for all immigrants facing removal proceedings.

  • Undocumented Population

    Bloomberg supports an “earned” pathway to citizenship for undocumented individuals without a serious criminal record. He believes that legal status should be granted once individuals have met several requirements, including registering with the federal government, learning English, paying taxes, and obeying all laws.

  • ICE

    Bloomberg has said that the agency should focus deportation efforts on individuals with serious criminal records and those who pose a national security risk. During his presidential campaign he pledged that he would order the Department of Justice to investigate abuses within ICE and CPB, and would reform the agencies to ensure oversight and accountability.

  • DACA

    Bloomberg supports making DACA protections permanent and passing the DREAM Act, arguing that such moves would help the U.S. economy.

  • Asylum

    Bloomberg supports a return to Obama-administration levels of accepted asylum seekers, proposing that the annual rate should be 125,000.

  • Central America Policy

    Bloomberg supports restarting — and increasing — aid to the Northern Triangle countries of Honduras, El Salvador and Guatemala. He also supports restoring the Central American Minors (CAM) Program, which allowed “lawfully present parents in the United States the opportunity to request a refugee or parole status for their children residing in the Northern Triangle.” He supports reinstating in-country processing of children — and expanding the program to include immediate family members — residing in the Northern Triangle so that those who qualify for refugee status are not forced to travel to the U.S. border to seek asylum.

  • Visas

    Bloomberg supports creating “opportunities for immigrants to enter the U.S. workforce — and for foreign students to stay in the U.S. to work — so that we can attract and keep the best, the brightest and the hardest-working, who will strengthen our economy.” Bloomberg supports revising the country’s various visa programs to include place-based visas and to “create a streamlined process by which employers can get the seasonal and permanent employees they need, when Americans aren’t filling vacant jobs.” He supports a “simple and secure system” for employers to verify employment eligibility and hold businesses that are not compliant, or abuse visa programs, accountable for their actions.