44 Cities & Counties In 15 Plaintiff States Support Obama’s Immigration Actions

NEW ORLEANS – As an appeals court is set to hear oral arguments today in the lawsuit temporarily delaying President Obama’s executive actions on immigration, mayors from many of the 26 states suing the federal government are taking action.

From Texas to Ohio, Missouri to Georgia, all of the major cities with substantial immigrant and non-immigrant populations are opposing the lawsuit their states have filed, and are standing with our nation in the fight for common sense immigration reforms that bring economic benefits to all of us.

“Cities across the nation have spoken: we will not be bystanders of congressional inaction. We called on President Obama to act on behalf of the millions of Americans concerned by our broken immigration system, and he delivered. Our cities – home to many of our country’s immigrants – are clearly saying that expanding administrative relief is best for our communities and economies,” said New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio. “We are confident that the President has acted within his power, and we stand with the majority of Americans who favor urgently needed immigration reform. New York City is ready to implement these policies – let’s stop this delay, and move forward for a better America.”

“With our work, we are lifting families out of the shadows and to move toward a more equal and inclusive society," said Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti. "Implementing these executive actions will build a more robust economy and strengthen core American values,” said Mayor Garcetti.

“Because I understand the impact it will have, I remain a strong supporter of the President’s executive order on immigration. The ongoing court delay serves no purpose other than to hurt families and the Houston economy.  It is time all law-abiding immigrants be allowed to walk out of the shadows and fully contribute to this great city’s prosperity,” said Houston Mayor Annise Parker.

"We stand united with the dozens of cities and millions of families throughout the United States in support of President Obama's executive actions on immigration," said Boston Mayor Martin J. Walsh. "The court system must find a resolution that allows us to move forward, together, with our neighbors, friends, families, and colleagues, who will greatly benefit from these actions and from long-term legislative immigration reform. They matter to this country, and to our cities. Together, we thrive on diversity and inclusion, and these actions from the President should no longer be stalled.”

“I support President Obama’s executive action to provide relief for immigrants – it’s the right thing to do for Seattle and our country,” Seattle Mayor Ed Murray said. “One out of every five Seattle residents is foreign-born, and we are a stronger and more vibrant city as a result. This unnecessary lawsuit only further delays real immigration reform and fairness for families already living and working here.”

“This lawsuit only hurts our families and harms our local governments,” said Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel. “Chicago is a city built by immigrants, and we will continue to stay true to our history and our values by standing with our nation and President Obama’s executive actions on immigration, which will help keep our families together and maximize the contributions that immigrants make every day in our communities.”

“Cities and our nation are stronger when we embrace and support the diversity and vitality of immigrant populations. In Atlanta, our foreign-born and immigrant populations add to the economic and cultural fabric of our city. I stand with more than 70 mayors across the country – representing 43 million Americans – in support of President Obama’s Administrative Relief order,” said Atlanta Mayor Kasim Reed.

"In Pittsburgh, we recognize that the vibrancy and economic health of our region is rooted in the stability and prosperity of our neighborhoods and families. When the delayed implementation of President Obama's executive actions prevents a high school student from aspiring to college, a parent from securing dignified work, or a family from participating fully in our economy, the effects are felt on not only a personal scale but a regional one. That's why I am standing with Mayors from across the country to advocate for this common sense reform," said Pittsburgh Mayor William Peduto.

“St. Louis is aligned with mayors and cities across America joining to build our economies through commonsense immigration reform and welcoming activities for immigrants. Lawsuits that only seek to stall progress should end.  They slow down the progress that St. Louis and the St. Louis Mosaic Project are committed to delivering in order to help our foreign born reach better success within our city,” said St. Louis Mayor Francis Slay.

“As a culturally diverse city with a large immigrant population, Hartford reaffirms its support of President Obama’s executive order on immigration. We will stand united with cities across the country in support of common sense immigration reform. It is time to stop stalling and for our country to move forward,” said Hartford Mayor Pedro Segarra, co-chair of the U.S. Conference of Mayors Immigration Reform Task Force.

“The executive actions taken by President Obama represent common sense solutions. Tampa is a city of immigrants, and we know that implementing these solutions will help keep our families together and our economy growing,” said Tampa Mayor Bob Buckhorn. “I hope, once again, the Court gives weight to the voices and concerns of the local leaders from around the country.”

“Immigration has enriched the social, cultural, and economic fabric of the City of Syracuse and cities like it all across the country,” said Syracuse Mayor Stephanie A. Miner. “Lawsuits designed to stall progress will only hurt our local and regional economies. We need common sense immigration reform in this country and the President’s executive order is an important first step to action.”

“On behalf of the people of Madison, and nearly 100 other cities across the country, we are united in support of implementing immigration relief through executive action. While there is little support for this pointless lawsuit, there is widespread support across the nation for reform,” said Madison Mayor Paul Soglin.

"We need solutions to our nation’s immigration challenge, not costly stall tactics. Chapel Hill is joining forces with nearly 100 cities and counties across the nation to support the President’s executive order on immigration and continue the fight for comprehensive reform that will benefit all our residents,” said Chapel Hill Mayor Mark Kleinschmidt.

"The ill-conceived lawsuit being heard on appeal by the Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals this week has delayed positive immigration reform that will resolve the status of millions in our country who are ready to come forward and get right with the law. No longer should law-abiding people be denied the opportunity to show their commitment to becoming productive members of society," said Kansas City Mayor Sly James.

"Our city recognizes that a diversity of ideas, cultures and ethnicities is what makes us strong. It enhances our economic growth, global competitiveness and overall prosperity for all individuals in the current and future generations who choose to make their home in Clarkston. I am proud to join the nearly 100 other Mayors across the country, in support of common sense immigration reform, and calling for an end to baseless legal stall tactics. The voices of this movement are being heard loud and clear," said Clarkston Mayor Edward Terry.

“The economic costs of inaction are simply too high to delay. I support the implementation of President Obama’s Executive action to not only uplift and improve the quality of life for those living in the shadows, but also to respond to the voices of the people throughout our city and state who overwhelmingly agree that we need to take action,” said Columbus Mayor Michael B. Coleman.

In recent months, mayors have joined forces with nearly 100 cities and counties as part of Cities United for Immigration Action, a coalition launched by New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio and Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti that is leading the effort to promote and execute these reforms nationwide.

Earlier this year, cities and counties – representing 43 million people across the country – filed a friend-of-the-court brief arguing that the district court judge who temporarily blocked implementation of the new immigration programs failed to consider the significant harms to America’s local governments caused by this delay.

For more information on the actions cities are taking, visit: http://citiesforaction.us/