Corp's Rupert Murdoch urges U.S. immigration reform
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[June 19, 2014]
By Eric M. Johnson
(Reuters) - Media mogul Rupert Murdoch
urged U.S. lawmakers to tackle far-reaching immigration reform, saying
that scrapping quotas on special visas and promoting paths to
citizenship would boost U.S. growth and innovation.
The chairman of 21st Century Fox <FOXA.O> and News Corp <NWSA.O>
has also pressed for immigration reform in his native Australia in
the belief that freer borders there and in America would boost trade
In an opinion piece published on Wednesday on the website of the
Wall Street Journal, which he owns, Murdoch admonished opponents of
such change in the United States "as being dead wrong about the
long-term interests of our country".
"One of the most immediate ways to revitalize our economy is by
passing immigration reform," said Murdoch, himself a former
immigrant who became a naturalized American citizen in 1985.
He joined reform advocates who worry lawmakers might avoid taking up
the thorny issue before November's congressional election,
especially after House Republican Eric Cantor's shock defeat to a
college economics professor who denounced him for being too eager to
compromise with Democrats. U.S. President Barack Obama, a Democrat,
has been pushing new immigration laws to create a pathway to
citizenship for some 11 million undocumented residents. But a bill
that passed the Democrat-controlled Senate has been stalled in the
Republican-controlled House of Representatives.
Murdoch argued for giving non-criminals already living in the United
States a path to citizenship, removing the quota for "H1-B" visas
for highly-skilled foreign workers, and strengthening border
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He pointed to a study by the Partnership for a New American Economy,
a bipartisan group of mayors and business executives where he is a
member, that says over 40 percent of Fortune 500 companies were
founded by immigrants or a child of immigrants.
He said Obama was exercising "wise restraint" in holding back on
taking executive action over provisions of immigration policy in the
hopes of a more bipartisan approach.
"However, if Congress fails to even try to have this important
debate, the president might feel tempted to act via executive
order," Murdoch wrote. "I hope it doesn't get to that point, given
the furious political firestorm that would result."
(Editing by Mark Heinrich)
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