08/14/2012 10:17 am ET

Mayor Michael Bloomberg Tells Candidates: Must Reform Immigration System To Bolster The Economy

Elections are inevitably about identifying differences between candidates and parties. To improve the quality of government, however, elections must also highlight areas of consensus where both parties, regardless of who comes out on top, can move the nation forward.

Immigration reform is probably the most important issue in the U.S. on which such a consensus exists. Yes, immigration is contentious. Republicans and Democrats disagree with each other (and among themselves) on the direction of comprehensive immigration reform. But on a host of significant immigration policies, Republicans, Democrats and the American people understand the pressing need for change. Those areas of agreement are where our immediate focus should be.

Economists, mayors and business leaders understand that immigration is a crucial economic issue, especially now. In fact, reforming a broken immigration system is the single most important step the federal government could take to bolster the economy.