Niti Suchdeve published 20/09/17 – Cities for Action Statement on Standing with TPS Holders Despite Disappointing Appeals Court Decision in Press Release 2020-09-17 10:08:26 -0400
20/09/17 – Cities for Action Statement on Standing with TPS Holders Despite Disappointing Appeals Court Decision
For Immediate Release
Cities for Action (C4A) expresses great disappointment in the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals' decision on Monday allowing the termination of Temporary Protected Status (TPS) for El Salvador, Nicaragua, and Sudan to move forward, and opening the path for termination of Nepal and Honduras TPS. This decision has the potential to throw the lives of almost 350,000 individuals into turmoil, placing long-term residents at risk of losing their work authorization and being vulnerable to deportation and separation from their families. Over a third of these TPS recipients are essential workers risking their health to keep our cities and counties running during the COVID-19 pandemic. While TPS remains in effect for Haitians under a separate court order, all TPS recipients and their loved ones need a real solution. C4A urges the Senate to act immediately and provide permanent protection and a pathway to citizenship for TPS recipients by passing the American Dream and Promise Act.
Niti Suchdeve published 20/08/11 – Cities for Action Statement Against the Trump Administration’s Use of the COVID-19 Pandemic to Unduly Limit Immigration in Press Release 2020-08-11 11:34:18 -0400
20/08/11 – Cities for Action Statement Against the Trump Administration’s Use of the COVID-19 Pandemic to Unduly Limit Immigration
For Immediate Release
The Cities for Action coalition strongly condemns the Trump Administration’s use of the pandemic to pursue its anti-immigrant agenda that seeks to undo the country’s immigration systems.
COVID-19 has created significant challenges for individuals, families, and communities throughout the country. The impact of this pandemic has fallen heavily on many of the Cities for Action member cities and counties, from New York to Houston, from Ann Arbor to Seattle. Throughout our fight against and recovery from this pandemic, many of our immigrant residents have served in essential occupations on the frontlines. Precisely due to their work on the frontlines, our immigrant communities have borne the brunt of infections and resulting economic downturn.
At a time when our cities need inclusive and effective federal leadership to address the devastating health and economic impacts of the pandemic, the Trump Administration has instead taken several divisive executive actions to unduly limit immigration and undermine our communities. The Administration has used the COVID-19 crisis to justify unilateral actions targeting every type of immigrant—those seeking to reunite with their families, those working across our industries, and especially those fleeing persecution.
In just the last few months, the Administration has upended the lives of hundreds of thousands of individuals, their families and employers through executive orders banning certain immigrant and non-immigrant visas. It co-opted the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention to carry out its border policy, expelling tens of thousands of asylum seekers, including unaccompanied children. Now, it seeks to formally shut our country's doors to those fleeing persecution by introducing a new rule that would use the COVID-19 pandemic to summarily deny humanitarian protections without regard to other circumstances. Although the Administration sought to justify these actions by citing high unemployment rates in the U.S. due to the pandemic, these are actually the same policies the Administration has been pursuing for years, even when unemployment rates were at record lows. In fact, most industry leaders and economists agree that these measures will not result in job growth but the opposite, as immigrants are often job creators and revenue generators.
In tandem, these executive actions will effectively shut down most avenues for immigration. And far from achieving the stated purpose of helping the country recover from the pandemic, these anti-immigrant measures only serve to betray our nation's historic commitment to humanitarian relief, prolong family separations, and prevent our cities and counties from attracting talent and business necessary for success in a global economy.
Niti Suchdeve published 20/08/10 – Cities for Action Statement on Need for Immigrant Inclusive Provisions in the Next COVID-19 Relief Package in Press Release 2020-08-10 12:21:18 -0400
20/08/10 – Cities for Action Statement on Need for Immigrant Inclusive Provisions in the Next COVID-19 Relief Package
For Immediate Release
Cities for Action, a coalition of over 200 mayors and county executives, expresses deep concern with the Senate’s proposed COVID-19 relief package and continues our support of the inclusive relief measures contained in the HEROES Act, passed in the House in May.
At cities and counties, we have felt firsthand the enormous contributions and the deep pains of our immigrant residents during the COVID-19 pandemic. As studies have shown, our immigrant residents, especially undocumented ones, risk their health to work in essential occupations at higher rates than native-born citizens. As has been widely reported, our immigrant residents have also borne the brunt of the pandemic’s impact, both in rates of infection and in economic losses, making it more imperative than ever that they be afforded critical care and support.
The Coronavirus relief package in the HEROES Act, which the House passed over two months ago, laid a strong foundation for including and supporting our immigrant communities. On the other hand, the HEALS Act, proposed by the Senate, completely ignores the needs of the immigrant community.
Cities for Action strongly believes that we cannot effectively recover from this pandemic if large segments of our essential workforce and community continue to be denied vital support and access to care. We strongly urge Congress to reject the HEALS Act and ensure the final funding package includes critical provisions of the HEROES Act that will make our immigrant communities healthier, and in turn, all of us healthier.
- Include all immigrants and their citizen family members in financial relief, including stimulus, unemployment benefits, rental assistance, and hazard pay.
- Provide everyone, regardless of immigration status, access to testing and treatment for COVID-19.
- Ensure automatic extension of work authorization for DACA recipients, TPS holders, and essential workers so they can continue to contribute to our communities without fear and when we need their contribution the most.
Cities for Action will continue to advocate for the health and safety of our immigrant communities during this crisis because inclusive relief will make all of us more resilient.
Niti Suchdeve published 20/07/30 - Cities for Action Statement Condemning the Department of Homeland Security's New Memo on DACA in Press Release 2020-07-30 13:54:02 -0400
20/07/30 - Cities for Action Statement Condemning the Department of Homeland Security's New Memo on DACA
For Immediate Release
Even in the face of a resounding defeat at the Supreme Court and overwhelming bi-partisan support for the DACA program nationwide, the Trump Administration is refusing to follow the rule of law and restore the DACA program to its original state.
The Administration's lawless action--rejecting all new DACA applications and limiting the DACA renewal period to just one year--places in limbo the lives of over 650,000 current DACA recipients and those of the over 300,000 DACA eligible youth around the country. As local government leaders, we have witnessed firsthand the enormous contributions of these young immigrants to our communities, especially during the COVID-19 pandemic when hundreds of thousands of DACA recipients are working as essential workers.
We strongly urge Congress to take immediate action to include automatic extensions of work authorization for DACA recipients in the next COVID-19 package, as was included in the HEROES Act. We also call on the Senate to take up and pass the American Dream and Promise Act, H.R. 6, to provide Dreamers and their families permanent protections and peace of mind against this Administration's unlawful actions.
Niti Suchdeve published 20/07/20 – Cities for Action Statement on USCIS Emergency Funding Request & the Need for Accountability Measures in Press Release 2020-07-20 11:44:23 -0400
20/07/20 – Cities for Action Statement on USCIS Emergency Funding Request & the Need for Accountability Measures
For Immediate Release
The Cities for Action coalition expresses deep concern about the United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (“USCIS”) budget crisis, which if unresolved could result in the furlough of nearly 70% of its workforce. USCIS is a crucial agency charged with granting immigration benefits and statuses, helping our immigrant communities find greater stability. This is why Cities for Action strongly urges Congress to take action to ensure that the vital work of USCIS can continue.
This Congressional emergency funding must not be issued as a blank check. The COVID-19 pandemic has certainly affected USCIS’s mostly application-fee-based revenue. However, the agency has been predicting the same $1.2 billion deficit figure well before the pandemic disrupted its work. The bigger and more obvious reason for USCIS’s budget crisis is the Trump Administration’s steady stream of anti-immigrant policies. These policies have intentionally and drastically decreased application rates, resulting in decreased revenue, and have unnecessarily increased processing backlogs, resulting in costly inefficiencies and deterrence of new applications.
To truly address the root causes of USCIS’s budget crisis and to ensure the future financial health of this vital agency, Cities for Action calls on Congress to provide USCIS with emergency funding conditioned upon greater accountability measures such as:
- Comprehensive investigation and recommendations on how to increase revenue and applications while decreasing the inefficiencies that result in processing backlogs. Such a report should provide greater transparency into the agency’s past expenditures that have led to the budget shortfall and on how the agency develops and implements some of its most resource-intensive policies.
- Implementation of measures that will encourage new applications in order to generate new revenue such as halting the implementation of its proposed fee increase, which will increase the fee for certain applications by more than 80%, and the expansion of premium processing for applications commonly used by its business customers.
- Prohibition on transfer of funds to the enforcement agencies within DHS, including the proposal within USCIS’s fee increase regulation that would transfer $200 million to ICE.
- Re-commitment to USCIS’s service-oriented mission by immediately suspending its anti-immigrant policies. These policies have sowed fear and confusion in immigrant communities, depressing new applications and petitions, and resulting in USCIS adjudicators engaging in complex and time consuming analysis that creates operational logjams.
- Adoption of measures that promote transparency and efficiency by eliminating costly application and adjudication barriers such as requiring in-person interviews when unnecessary; ceasing to reject applications due to alleged incompleteness or blank spaces; more judiciously issuing requests for evidence or notices of intent to deny in order to prevent requests for evidence already provided or unnecessary to prove eligibility.
- Provision of remote naturalization ceremonies to accommodate the permanent residents whose final step in the citizenship process has been delayed due to the pandemic.
USCIS is vital to the welcoming and integration of our immigrant communities. Cities for Action strongly urges Congress to provide emergency funding to USCIS on the condition that the agency ensure greater accountability into its practices and reaffirm its service-oriented mission to “secure America’s promise as a nation of immigrants.”
Niti Suchdeve published 20/06/19 – Cities for Action Statement on SCOTUS DACA Decision in Press Release 2020-06-19 12:15:12 -0400
For Immediate Release
The Cities for Action coalition celebrates with the hundreds of thousands of DACA recipients in our cities and counties across the country the Supreme Court’s decision to uphold the DACA program. C4A leaders have always recognized DACA recipients’ critical contributions to our communities and economies and now call on the Senate to provide permanent protections and a pathway to citizenship for Dreamers and their families by passing the American Dream and Promise Act. Now is the time to reaffirm once and for all that DACA recipients are home right here in our cities, counties, and country.
Niti Suchdeve published 20/05/20 – Cities for Action Statement on Relief for Our Immigrant Communities in the Fifth COVID-19 Relief Package in Press Release 2020-05-20 09:41:45 -0400
20/05/20 – Cities for Action Statement on Relief for Our Immigrant Communities in the Fifth COVID-19 Relief Package
For Immediate Release
May 20, 2020
The Cities for Action coalition commends the House on the passage of the HEROES Act, which lays a strong foundation for including and supporting our immigrant communities in the new Coronavirus relief package. Despite the fact that immigrant communities have been disproportionately impacted by the COVID-19 crisis—while so many continue to serve on the frontlines—they were left out of the previous stimulus packages and denied the resources they need. Cities for Action applauds the House on recognizing that the next stimulus must provide relief for all, regardless of immigration status, especially by the inclusion of measures for:
- Providing access to healthcare and financial assistance;
- Providing language access for federal benefits and services provided during this critical time;
- Making sure that all of our students have access to relief from educational institutions; and
- Ensuring automatic extension of work authorization for DACA and TPS recipients, so many of whom are frontline and essential workers during this crisis.
The HEROES Act affirms our belief that we cannot effectively recover from this pandemic unless everyone is afforded access to critical support. We strongly urge the Senate to pass the HEROES Act as expeditiously as possible. And to our immigrant communities, we will continue to advocate for your health and safety during this crisis. Inclusive relief will make us all more resilient.