GOPer says de Blasio's not the only one on side of immigrants
By Paula Katinas
Brooklyn Daily Eagle
In the wake of the avalanche of news coverage of Bill de Blasio’s press conference at City Hall, during which the Democratic candidate for mayor promised to give undocumented immigrants identification cards, Republican Joe Lhota sought to draw media attention to his position on the controversial topic.
Lhota, who is trailing de Blasio by 40 points in most polls, released a statement on Oct. 24 expressing support for comprehensive immigration reform, including the idea of handing out ID cards to undocumented immigrants in New York City.
“New York City has a proud tradition of caring for our immigrants and as mayor, I will sign the mayoral executive order to continue the city’s policy of providing needed services. I will also establish a municipal ID card that would allow our immigrants opportunities to better assimilate into the fabric of the city and take advantage of various critical services that require identification,” Lhota stated.
"We must ensure that New Yorkers from all five boroughs and all nationalities, ethnicities and backgrounds, have access to a quality education, good-paying jobs that can support a family and safe neighborhoods,” the Republican candidate stated.
Lhota’s statement was issued a day after all of the major newspapers and several television stations covered a heavily attended press conference de Blasio held on the steps of City Hall calling for Washington DC to get its act together on immigration.
WNYC reported that the press conference was so crowded, that the City Hall steps were completely filled and the podium nearly tipped over. It was a signal, according to WNYC, that when a front-runner speaks, lots of people listen.
In his press conference, de Blasio vowed that if he wins election, he will move quickly to establish a system in which undocumented immigrants can obtain municipal ID cards. Capital New York reported that de Blasio has not yet worked out the details of how the ID cards would be created or which city agency would handle the daunting task of issuing them to immigrants.
The front-runner took a swipe at Capitol Hill, charging that Congress has been too slow to move on this issue.
That’s a position Lhota also holds. “It’s absurd that we are a nation of immigrants with a failed immigration policy. I am a strong supporter of the U.S. Senate’s immigration reform plan and have urged the House of Representatives to take swift action so this comprehensive legislation can finally become law,” Lhota stated.