Welcome to the Cities for DACA webpage!
The Cities for DACA campaign makes clear that DACA recipients strengthen the social and institutional fabric of our cities by highlighting recipients’ stories and the positive contributions they make to communities across the country, as well as the negative consequences that ending DACA would have nationwide. The campaign also seeks to ensure that DACA recipients and impacted communities have accurate information about the program, and know how to access local and national resources and services.
Resource Guide for DACA Recipients and Impacted Communities
Cities for Action created a toolkit to help keep DACA recipients and impacted communities informed about the current status of the DACA program, light the pathway to resources amid a constantly shifting landscape, and offer tools to both elevate the voices of DACA recipients and impacted community and drive the message that DACA recipients strengthen the social and institutional fabric of the United States.
Click here to view the toolkit.
In the News
With the aim of uplifting the countless ways DACA recipients strengthen our economies, educate our children, care for our most vulnerable, and enrich the value of what it means to be American, Cities for Action has partnered with local leaders and impacted community members to publish persuasive op-ed testimonials in local and national news outlets.
Chicago Tribune, May 29, 2020 – “Commentary: Mayor Lori Lightfoot: Chicago has led the nation in supporting DACA recipients”
Denver Post, June 22, 2020 – “Coffman: The Supreme Court let Dreamers stay. Now Congress needs to make it permanent”
Houston Business Journal, June 29, 2020 – “Op-ed: Houston mayor explains how Dreamers take care of us during a crisis”
The Salt Lake Tribune, November 27, 2020 – "Erin Mendenhall: America thrives when Dreamers thrive"
El Paso Matters, December 16, 2020 – "Marcelino Serna was a World War I hero. He still has a lot to teach us"
Cambridge Chronicle, December 23, 2020 – "MAYOR OP-ED: It’s time to provide permanent protection for our Dreamers"
Follow the campaign and add your voice!
20/11/19 – CITIES FOR ACTION LEADS MULTI-CITY LETTER ASKING CONGRESS TO EXTEND DEADLINE FOR GREEN CARD APPLICATIONS UNDER LIBERIAN REFUGEE IMMIGRATION FAIRNESS
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: November 19, 2020
CITIES FOR ACTION LEADS MULTI-CITY LETTER ASKING CONGRESS TO EXTEND DEADLINE FOR GREEN CARD APPLICATIONS UNDER LIBERIAN REFUGEE IMMIGRATION FAIRNESS
On November 18, 2020, mayors from Baltimore, Maryland; Minneapolis, Minnesota; New York City, New York; Philadelphia, Pennsylvania; Providence, Rhode Island; and St. Paul, Minnesota issued a joint letter to urge Congress to extend the December 20, 2020 deadline for green card applications under Liberian Refugee Immigration Fairness (LRIF) for at least one year, until the end of December 2021. LRIF is a provision of an important and fair bipartisan law that passed at the end of 2019, which provides a pathway to citizenship for some Liberians and their immediate family members living in the United States since 2014. Given the stressors of COVID-19, cities have come together to advocate for this extension so more eligible immigrants can apply.
The new letter underscores that the extension of the LRIF deadline is necessary due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, the hardships experienced in particular by Black communities, and in the interest of advancing racial justice. The United States and Liberia have a unique relationship. In 1847, the modern state of Liberia was founded by formerly enslaved African-Americans, among others. By extending the deadline for green card applications under LRIF, the United States would honor the historical relationship between the two countries and provide eligible Liberian individuals—many of whom are descendants of enslaved Africans—with the opportunity to complete the LRIF process and adjust their immigration status.
Due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, and its particular impact on Black communities, only a small number of Liberian immigrants have submitted applications to adjust their status to legal permanent residents under LRIF. This is concerning as there is only one month left to apply for a green card under LRIF while the Deferred Enforced Departure (DED) designation for Liberia, which many in the community currently rely on to live and work in the United States, is set to end on January 10, 2021.
About Cities for Action
Cities for Action is a coalition of over 200 U.S. mayors and county executives working to advocate for and promote civic inclusion of our immigrant communities. Click HERE to see a list of Cities for Action mayors and county executives. To learn more about our work, follow us on Twitter and Facebook
Niti Suchdeve published CITIES FOR ACTION HOLDS MULTI-CITY TELE-TOWN HALL ON DACA STATE-OF-PLAY, RESOURCES FOR DREAMERS in Press Release 2020-10-02 16:08:59 -0400
20/09/18 - CITIES FOR ACTION HOLDS MULTI-CITY TELE-TOWN HALL ON DACA STATE-OF-PLAY, RESOURCES FOR DREAMERS
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: September 18, 2020
CITIES FOR ACTION HOLDS MULTI-CITY TELE-TOWN HALL ON DACA STATE-OF-PLAY, RESOURCES FOR DREAMERS
NYC Mayor’s Office of Immigrant Affairs, Denver Office of Immigrant and Refugee Affairs, and Los Angeles Mayor’s Office of Immigrant Affairs officials and experts share opportunities for individuals to make their voices heard in support of Dreamers across the nation
NEW YORK – Yesterday, Cities for Action—a coalition of over 200 U.S. mayors and county executives advocating for pro-immigrant federal policies and launching innovative, inclusive programs and policies at the local level—convened officials and immigration experts from New York City, Denver, and Los Angeles for a multi-city tele-town hall on the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program.
Standing with hundreds of thousands of Dreamers across the country, NYC Mayor’s Office of Immigrant Affairs Commissioner Bitta Mostofi, Denver Office of Immigrant and Refugee Affairs Director Atim Otii, and Los Angeles Mayor’s Office of Immigrant Affairs Director Nora A. Preciado called for the protection of the DACA program.
While a Supreme Court decision on June 18, 2020, declaring the Trump Administration’s 2017 attempt to terminate DACA unlawful, delivered a hard-won victory for Dreamers across the country, the Administration could try again to terminate the program. During the this livestreamed event Thursday, the speakers urged action by the federal government to pass a legislative solution for DACA recipients and their families that creates permanent pathways to citizenship.
DACA recipients, or those who may be eligible for DACA, who are unsure about whether or when they should renew or apply for DACA, should seek legal assistance and consult a trusted legal representative to get answers to their questions. Legal help, resources, and the latest updates on DACA are available. Visit the DACA websites for New York City, Denver, and Los Angeles for more information.
“New York City, along with cities across the nation, joins with Dreamers and their families in celebration of the Supreme Court victory, a testament not only to their years-long advocacy but also the significant impact they have on all of our communities,” said Bitta Mostofi, Commissioner for the Mayor’s Office of Immigrant Affairs. “Although we are thrilled to see the court uphold the rule of law and critical protections for the hundreds of thousands of Dreamers, we know our fight is far from over. Through efforts like this tele-town hall we are coming together to ensure all those in our community have access to resources and information they need to renew their DACA. What's more, on this Citizenship Day we urge the Senate to pass the American Dream and Promise Act so that Dreamers across the country can continue their path to citizenship and permanently call our cities home.”
"I want to encourage all those whose DACA expires in 2020 to speak with a legal service provider or an immigration attorney about renewing your DACA as soon as possible,” said Atim Otii, Director of the Denver Office of Immigrant and Refugee Affairs. “The time to act is now."
“Over 29,000 DACA recipients call Los Angeles home, and Mayor Eric Garcetti and his Office of Immigrant Affairs will continue backing up our Dreamers, supporting their families, and ensuring they are met with same opportunities as anyone else,” said Nora A. Preciado, Director of the Los Angeles Mayor’s Office of Immigrant Affairs. “Across cities and municipal borders, our challenges are shared and our priorities are the same – and this DACA Tele-Town Hall enabled us to exchange the latest information and resources available at the local level for these remarkable young immigrants who strengthen our communities, our economy, and our future.”
During the tele-town hall, the officials and immigration experts provided an update on the status of the DACA program and the latest developments in litigation surrounding the program. On July 28, 2020, the Acting Department of Homeland Security (DHS) Secretary Chad Wolf issued a memorandum significantly undermining the DACA program while the federal administration takes time to decide if it will attempt to rescind DACA completely.
As laid out in the July DHS Memo, the DHS is not accepting any initial applications for DACA by first-time applicants and has cut the duration of deferred action and employment authorization renewals from two years to one year, among other changes. Many of the states and organizations that brought lawsuits to stop the 2017 termination of DACA, including New York State, have brought new challenges to the July DHS Memo, arguing that these significant changes to the program are unlawful. The City of Los Angeles led a coalition of 55 cities and counties, including New York City and Denver, in an amicus brief in support of the legal challenges to the new DHS efforts to curtail DACA.
About Cities for Action
Cities for Action is a coalition of over 200 U.S. mayors and county executives working to advocate for and promote civic inclusion of our immigrant communities. Click HERE to see a list of Cities for Action mayors and county executives. To learn more about our work, follow us on Twitter and Facebook.
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.