For Immediate Release: June 23, 2016
Contact: [email protected] | @citiesforaction
CITIES AND COUNTIES COMMIT TO FIGHTING FOR IMMIGRATION REFORMS AS THE U.S. SUPREME COURT RULES AGAINST PRESIDENT OBAMA’S EXECUTIVE ACTIONS ON IMMIGRATION
NEW YORK – Cities for Action, a coalition of over 100 mayors and county leaders leading the municipal effort to advance immigration reform and welcome new immigrants, expresses deep disappointment in response to today’s U.S. Supreme Court ruling in United States v. Texas that upholds the injunction against President Obama’s executive actions on immigration. Despite this setback, Cities for Action is committed to continuing to fight for common-sense immigration reforms.
Cities and counties in the coalition brought crucial local perspective to the case by filing amicus briefs in support of the President’s executive actions as the case traveled through the court system. At each of the four stages in the litigation, the momentum of support from local governments grew in numbers: from over 30 signatories at the district court level to, ultimately, 118 mayors and county leaders joining the friend-of-the-court brief at the merits stage before the Supreme Court.
The effort was co-led as part of Cities for Action by New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio, Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti, Atlanta Mayor Kasim Reed, Birmingham Mayor William Bell, and Austin Mayor Steve Adler. Together with other mayors and county leaders who joined the brief, they demonstrated the significant contributions made by immigrants to their communities and argued that their long-standing economic, public safety and community-based interests were harmed by the delayed implementation of the President’s executive actions on immigration.
Amici included 44 cities and counties located in states that brought or support the lawsuit, including some of the largest municipalities in Texas, Georgia, Alabama, Ohio, Utah, New Jersey, Wisconsin, and Idaho. Together, amici represented an estimated 55 million people, including over 15 million immigrants, or more than 37% of the nation’s immigrant population. These cities are also home to more than 1.5 million immigrant children and their parents who are potentially eligible for relief under President Obama’s executive actions.
“On behalf of our city’s immigrant families and all New Yorkers, I am extraordinarily disappointed by today’s Supreme Court decision on the President’s executive actions on immigration. New York City, like so many cities across the country, is stronger when all of our residents are secure in their ability to provide for their families and contribute to their community. That’s why, with over 100 of my fellow mayors and county leaders, I have supported the President’s common sense efforts to help immigrants. Today’s decision only underscores the urgent need to enact federal immigration reform. Through Cities for Action, we will continue to push for this change. In the meantime, New York City will continue to build an inclusive and welcoming city for all New Yorkers regardless of immigration status through programs like IDNYC and ActionNYC. Immigrants help make New York the best city in the world. We stand with our immigrant neighbors, co-workers, friends, and loved ones,” said New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio.
“I am disappointed by the Supreme Court's decision to further delay President Obama's executive action on immigration. Today’s ruling deepens uncertainty for families already at risk for a cruel separation. That’s not what America stands for. No matter what happens in Washington, the City of Los Angeles remains committed to supporting all families — no matter their immigration status or country of origin,” said Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti.
“I am disappointed that justice continues to be delayed today for the millions of immigrant families who contribute to the cultural vitality and economic fabric of our communities,” said Atlanta Mayor Kasim Reed. “Today’s decisions by the Supreme Court fail to recognize that our immigrant community is essential to building the Atlanta and America of the future and creates an unnecessary barrier to prosperity for all. To the thousands of hard-working Atlanta families that are negatively impacted by this decision, know that the City of Atlanta is a welcoming city and will resist the plagues of fear and division that try to divide us. We will continue our support for immigration relief and for the security of your families.”
“I am disappointed that the judgement was affirmed by an equally divided court. In a country where millions of immigrants in hundreds of cities act as the cornerstone for stronger more vibrant communities, it is our responsibility to provide safety and access in all aspects of life. We will continue to fight,” said Birmingham Mayor William Bell.
“I am disappointed by the Supreme Court’s decision to uphold the injunction against the executive actions on immigration. Austin and Travis County would benefit from helping immigrant families stay together. Almost half of our undocumented population is eligible for programs that would do that, and these parents and young folks are assets to our city. These programs would increase the Texas economy by $38 billion and create 4,800 jobs a year over the next decade. Keeping families together just makes good sense for Austin,” said Austin Mayor Steve Adler.
“This decision is disheartening to everyone with a stake in the fight to welcome New Americans to our cities. These programs are sensible reforms implemented to keep families together, filling the void left by Congressional inaction. We need comprehensive immigration reform in our country to bring families together and support our economy. Furthermore, this highlights the need for the Supreme Court to have its full complement of justices and I urge the Senate to confirm the President’s nominee,” said Syracuse Mayor Stephanie Miner.