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Cities for Action leaders issue letter calling on House to vote for pathway to citizenship for Dreamers

WASHINGTON – Today, over 110 mayors and county officials sent a letter to Speaker Ryan and Minority Leader Pelosi urging them to bring the DREAM Act up for a vote. The letter commends the bipartisan efforts on House Resolution 774, which seeks to break the impasse in Congress and allow the House of Representatives to vote on four bills, including the DREAM Act, which would provide a pathway to citizenship to Dreamers. The localities who are signatories to the letter have undertaken significant local efforts to support Dreamers, but Congress must now use its power to pass legislation to protect Dreamers and provide them with a permanent place in the country they call home.

The mayors and county executives who have signed on to today’s letter to Congress are part of Cities for Action, a coalition of over 175 cities and counties, representing over 70 million residents, leading on immigration action through federal advocacy and local programs.


See below for quotes from signatories and the full text of the letter:

“Ending DACA would mean that almost 800,000 young people who came to the United States as children would be at risk of deportation and separation from their families and communities. Not only do they pay taxes, but they have enriched and strengthened our cities, businesses, schools, and families and represent the very best of what immigrants have to offer the United States. Let’s make an investment in our future by letting Dreamers remain and work for the greater good of our country.”
-Jesse Arreguín, Mayor of Berkeley, CA

“America isn’t simply defined by its borders -- America is defined by its values. Boston is a proud City of immigrants, and I will never stop fighting for equality and justice for all. That's why I am joining local leaders throughout the country and urging Congress to act, giving DACA recipients real pathways to permanent residency and citizenship.”
-Martin J. Walsh, Mayor of Boston, MA

“The economic cost to ending this program in Colorado, which would mean removing an estimated 17,000 workers, is an estimated annual GDP loss of $856,946,796. Boulder encourages the Administration and Congress to demonstrate a commitment to the American economy and the ideals of our nation by continuing DACA at least until Congress has the ability to modernize our immigration system and provide a more permanent form of relief for these individuals.”
-Suzanne Jones, Mayor of Boulder, CO

“Dreamers are our neighbors, our friends, our relatives, and our future. They are part of our communities and ours are the only communities many of them have ever known. It is time that we provide them a path to become permanent residents and citizens of our country.”
-Patrick Wojahn, Mayor of College Park, MD

“The President and Congress have a moral obligation to give DACA recipients a pathway to citizenship as part of any spending bill. These are young people who have passed background checks, they work and go to school, and they are valued members of their communities here in Hartford and across our country. We should be able to come together as a country and deliver for these Dreamers, and I’m proud to stand with scores of local leaders who are calling for compassion and common sense to prevail.”
-Luke A. Bronin, Mayor of Hartford, CT

“Long Beach is home to thousands of Dreamers and DACA recipients, many of whom are amazing students at CSULB, LBCC and in our Long Beach High Schools. We support them and their families - they are a part of our community, as scholars, workers in our small businesses, and athletes on our local school teams. We stand with our Dreamers and DACA recipients because they contribute to our city and make Long Beach better.”
-Robert Garcia, Mayor of Long Beach, CA

“This has gone on too long. We need a clean Dreamers bill.”
-Paul Soglin, Mayor of Madison, WI

“Dreamers have experienced enough uncertainty and upheaval. The path forward is clear: Congress must vote on the DREAM Act. Dreamers make our cities stronger, and they’re here to stay.”
-Bill de Blasio, Mayor of the City of New York

“The importance of keeping America's promise to the nearly 230,000 young people in California who are currently working toward the American dream in our ultimate nation of immigrants cannot be overstated. In California alone, stripping DACA recipients of their work authorization will have an $11 billion economic impact on our economy, coupled with the human cost of tearing apart families and threatening livelihoods. Failure to act on this congressional spending bill is an affront to democracy and un-American.”
-Libby Schaaf, Mayor of Oakland, CA

“By any measure, America is a better place for all of us to live because of our Dreamers. They are some of our best and brightest students, business leaders and public servants. I am proud to stand with my fellow Mayors in calling for swift Congressional action that protects our Dreamers and thus our entire country!”
-Buddy Dyer, Mayor of Orlando, FL

“Dreamers are as much a part of the fabric of this country as anyone else. I’m proud to join in this effort in urging our Congress to pass a solution with a permanent pathway to citizenship for Dreamers. Philadelphia knows firsthand how critical Dreamers are to local communities. As Mayor, I will continue to advocate for Dreamers because our families, communities, and economies need them. Many have been able to fulfill their dreams of attending college and launching their careers. Dreamers are our lawyers, nurses, teachers, and service members. The Stakes are too high – Congress must act now to keep families together and keep our economy strong.”
-Jim Kenney, Mayor of Philadelphia, PA

“Ramsey County proudly stands with jurisdictions throughout the U.S. in urging swift action by Congress to provide Dreamers with a permanent solution and a pathway to citizenship. As the second largest county in Minnesota, most Dreamers reside in our county. We acknowledge and recognize that Dreamers contribute significantly to our economy, they strengthen individual and familial well-being, and their talents and assets enhance access to opportunity for all. We thrive, when we all have equal opportunities to thrive.”
-Jim McDonough, Chair of the Ramsey County Board, MN

“Rockford, IL has a rich history of immigrants with a long and proud legacy of building this community from the ground up. Their contributions to our community are strong and we want everyone who comes to Rockford to have that same opportunity and that same chance to succeed. I’m concerned that the Trump administration will impede the progress we have made and I urge Congress to act immediately.”
-Thomas P. McNamara, Mayor of Rockford, IL

“There are 800,000 Dreamers living in this country today. They have faced numerous challenges and cleared many hurdles to receive their DACA status, and now are truly unaware of their future. This would be a frightening situation for any human being. My hope is that this collection of city leaders from around the country coming together on this issue will speak volumes to our federal leaders who are empowered with the ability to right this injustice. I urge the leadership in Washington to pass legislation now that will allow them to continue to live and work in the only country they know. There is no better time than now to stand up for these Dreamers, these Americans.”
-John Thomaides, Mayor of San Marcos, TX

“As with other cities in our nation, Tukwila is an inclusive, diverse city made up of families who have lived here for generations and some who have lived here only a few weeks. We are proud that the fabric of our community is built on our diversity, and we celebrate this reality on a daily basis. Walking through the hallways of our Foster High School you hear more than 80 languages spoken. The richness of the various cultures, languages and cuisines make our neighborhoods special and provide a unique perspective for our residents. Residents who have chosen our city are already affected by DACA wavering and thus our entire community is concerned. I urge Congress to allow our neighbors to stay and continue to contribute to our community.”
-Allan Ekberg, Mayor of Tukwila, WA


Below is the full text of the letter from Cities for Action:



The Honorable Paul D. Ryan
Speaker, U.S. House of Representatives
Washington, DC 20515

The Honorable Nancy Pelosi
Democratic Leader, U.S. House of Representatives
Washington, DC 20515

June 5, 2018

Dear Speaker Ryan and Minority Leader Pelosi:

We, the undersigned mayors and county executives, urge you to move expeditiously to pass a bipartisan solution with a pathway to citizenship for Dreamers that does not further harm immigrant communities—the DREAM Act. We are gravely concerned about the futures of Dreamers, hundreds of thousands of whom know our cities and counties as home. We are equally concerned about the increases in immigrant detention and non-criminal arrests over the past year. Congress can and must provide permanent protections for Dreamers without increasing enforcement measures against immigrants at large.

As local leaders we work closely with our residents. We know first-hand that immigrants are cornerstones of our communities who contribute with their diverse perspectives and ingenuity to our local economies and participate robustly in civic life. This is why we are members of Cities for Action, a national coalition that advocates for inclusion of immigrants into our communities to create stronger, safer, and more prosperous cities. Our coalition includes over 175 mayors and county executives, representing over 70 million residents, including 17 million foreign-born residents. The 1.3 million young undocumented immigrants enrolled or immediately eligible for the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program contribute an estimated $2 billion a year in state and local taxes to economies like ours. DACA-eligible residents pay an average of 8.9 percent of their income in state and local taxes.

Recent federal court decisions currently allow DACA recipients to apply for renewals but DACA recipients are hesitating to renew because of the uncertainty over the future of the program, despite our robust efforts at the local level to conduct community outreach. We are concerned that Dreamers without DACA status will be in danger of deportation. Every day that Congress fails to pass legislation, more young lives are thrown into chaos.

DACA recipients have done everything the government has asked of them in good faith: they have proven that they are not public safety threats, submitted to regular check-ins, earned degrees, served in the military, and paid their taxes. They deserve a permanent place in this country they call home. We commend the bipartisan efforts on House Resolution 774 which already has the support of over half of the House of Representatives. We urge you to listen to these Members of Congress and bring legislation that protects Dreamers up for a vote. This is an opportunity to pass the DREAM Act, and finally provide Dreamers the protection they deserve.


Kathy Sheehan, Mayor of Albany, NY
Allison Silberberg, Mayor of Alexandria, VA
Ray O’Connell, Mayor of Allentown/Lehigh County, PA
Ethan Berkowitz, Mayor of the Municipality of Anchorage, AK
Sofia Pereira, Mayor of the City of Arcata, CA
Jose T. Gurrola, Mayor of the City of Arvin, CA
Esther E. Manheimer, Mayor of Asheville, NC
Steve Adler, Mayor of Austin, TX
Catherine E. Pugh, Mayor of Baltimore City, MD
Jesse Arreguin, Mayor of Berkeley, CA
John Hamilton, Mayor of Bloomington, IN
David H. Bieter, Mayor of Boise, ID
Martin J. Walsh, Mayor of Boston, MA
Suzanne Jones, Mayor of the City of Boulder, CO
Eric Mamula, Mayor of the Town of Breckenridge, CO
Joe Ganim, Mayor of Bridgeport, CT
Bill Carpenter, Mayor of Brockton, MA
Antonio Martinez, Mayor of Brownsville, TX
Marc McGovern, Mayor of Cambridge, MA
James Brainard, Mayor of Carmel, IN
James Diossa, Mayor of Central Falls, RI
Pam Hemminger, Mayor of Chapel Hill, NC
Thomas G. Ambrosino, City Manager of Chelsea, MA
Rahm Emanuel, Mayor of the City of Chicago, IL
Mary Casillas Salas, Mayor of the City of Chula Vista, CA
Patrick L. Wojahn, Mayor of College Park, MD
Steve Benjamin, Mayor of Columbia, SC
Andrew J. Ginther, Mayor of the City of Columbus, OH
Toni Preckwinkle, President of Cook County, IL
Darcy Paul, Mayor of Cupertino, CA
Mike Rawlings, Mayor of Dallas, TX
Michael B. Hancock, Mayor of the City and County of Denver, CO
Mike Duggan, Mayor of Detroit, MI
Cherise Tieben, City Manager of the City of Dodge City, KS
Riley H. Rogers, Mayor of Dolton, IL
Salvatore J. Panto, Jr., Mayor of Easton, PA
Raul Reyes, Mayor of El Cenizo, TX
John J. Bauters, Mayor of Emeryville, CA
Carlo DeMaria, Mayor of Everett, MA.
Lioneld Jordan, Mayor of Fayetteville, AR
Lydia L Mihalik, Mayor of Findlay, OH
Sandy Sanders, Mayor of Fort Smith, AR
Karen Freeman-Wilson, Mayor of Gary/Lake County, IN
Rosalynn Bliss, Mayor of Grand Rapids, MI
Karen Majewski, Mayor of Hamtramck, MI
Rodney S. Craig, Mayor of Hanover Park, IL
Luke A. Bronin, Mayor of Hartford, CT
Nancy R. Rotering, Mayor of the City Highland Park, IL
Sylvester Turner, Mayor of Houston, TX
Pete Muldoon, Mayor of Jackson, WY
Sly James, Mayor of the City of Kansas City, MO
Dow Constantine, County Executive, King County, WA
Madeline Rogero, Mayor of Knoxville, TN
Robert Garcia, Mayor of Long Beach, CA
Eric Garcetti, Mayor of Los Angeles, CA
Pete Gerken, Carol Contrada, and Tina Skeldon Wozniak, Lucas County Commissioners, Toledo, OH
Paul R. Soglin, Mayor of Madison, WI
Damon Connolly, President, Marin County (CA) Board of Supervisors, Marin County, CA
Joel T.S. Greer, Mayor of Marshalltown, IA
Stephanie Muccini Burke, Mayor of Medford, MA
John Giles, Mayor of Mesa, AZ
Tom Barrett, Mayor of Milwaukee, WI
Jacob Frey, Mayor of Minneapolis, MN
John Hollar, Mayor of Montpelier, VT
Alan L. Nagy, Mayor of Newark, CA
Jon Mitchell, Mayor of New Bedford, MA
Noam Bramson, Mayor of New Rochelle, NY
Bill de Blasio, Mayor of New York City, NY
Libby Schaaf, Mayor of Oakland, CA
Timothy Lonergan, Mayor of Oakland Park, FL
Cheryl Selby, Mayor of Olympia, WA
Buddy Dyer, Mayor of Orlando, FL
Jim Kenney, Mayor of Philadelphia, PA
Greg Stanton, Mayor of Phoenix, AZ
William Peduto, Mayor of Pittsburgh, PA
Liz Lempert, Mayor of Princeton, NJ
Jorge Elorza, Mayor of Providence, RI
Jim McDonough, Chair of the Ramsey County Board, Ramsey County, MN
Hillary Schieve, Mayor of Reno, NV
Tom Butt, Mayor of Richmond, CA
Bryan K. Barnett, Mayor of Rochester Hills, MI
Thomas P. McNamara, Mayor of Rockford, IL
Darrell Steinberg, Mayor of Sacramento, CA
Jackie Biskupski, Mayor of Salt Lake City, UT
Chair Celine Kennelly and Vice Chair Mario Paz, San Francisco Immigrant Rights Commission, San Francisco, CA
Sam Liccardo, Mayor of San José, CA
Pauline Russo Cutter, Mayor of the City of San Leandro, CA
Heidi Harmon, Mayor of San Luis Obispo, CA
John Thomaides Mayor of San Marcos, TX
Lyda Krewson, Mayor of St. Louis, MO
Melvin Carter III, Mayor of Saint Paul, MN
Ted Winterer, Mayor of Santa Monica, CA
Chris Coursey, Mayor of the City of Santa Rosa, CA
Jenny Durkan, Mayor of Seattle, WA
Chris Roberts, Councilmember, Shoreline, WA
George Van Dusen, Mayor of the Village of Skokie, IL
Jeffrey Z. Slavin, Mayor of Somerset, MD
Joseph A. Curtatone, Mayor of Somerville, MA
Pete Buttigieg, Mayor of South Bend, IN
Donald M. Hahn, Mayor of State College, PA
Mark Prosser, Public Safety Director/ Police Chief of Storm Lake, Iowa
Javier Perea, Mayor of the City of Sunland Park, NM
Victoria Woodards, Mayor of Tacoma, WA
Wade Kapszukiewicz, Mayor of Toledo, OH
Sarah Eckhardt, County Judge, Travis County, TX
Jonathan Rothschild, Mayor of Tucson, AZ
Allan Ekberg, Mayor of Tukwila, WA
Carol Dutra-Vernaci, Mayor of Union City, CA
Muriel Bowser, Mayor of Washington, DC
Christopher Cabaldon, Mayor of West Sacramento, CA
Daniel Corona, Mayor of West Wendover, NV
Thomas M. Roach, Mayor of White Plains, NY
Don Saylor and Jim Provenza, County Supervisors of Yolo County, CA


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