April 6, 2015
More Than 70 Cities & Counties Sign Texas vs. United States Appeal Urging Immediate Implementation of President Obama’s Immigration Executive Action
NEW YORK—New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio and Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti announced today that 73 cities and counties had filed a new friend-of-the-court brief in the Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals in the Texas vs. United States lawsuit, urging immediate implementation of President Obama’s executive actions on immigration.
“Continuing to delay implementation of the President’s executive action on immigration hurts our economy and puts families at risk,” said Mayor Bill de Blasio. “Cities are where immigrants live, and cities are where the President’s executive action will be successfully implemented. Our cities are united, and we will fight for the immigration reform this nation needs and deserves – whether in the courtroom, in Congress, or in our communities. Make no mistake about it: our voices will be heard.”
“Our cities cannot afford delays to immigration reforms that will strengthen our economy and help families,” said Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti. “This isn’t a blue or red issue, but a human and economic one.”
The brief demonstrates robust support from the country’s largest cities – as well as suburbs and rural areas – for the President’s reforms, which will temporarily relieve from deportation thousands of immigrants who have longstanding ties to the U.S.
The cities and counties – representing 43 million people across the country – argue that the district court judge who temporarily blocked implementation of the programs failed to consider the significant harm to America’s local governments caused by this delay.
According to an analysis by the City, each month that the implementation of these programs is delayed, New York City and New York State will lose at least $1.5 million in additional state and local tax revenue that would be generated if 100,000 immigrants in New York City were able to access temporary work permits through executive action.
“New York’s immigrants are vital to our economy and we must do all we can to help them grow and thrive. Mayor de Blasio is correct – instead of putting up barriers, we should be looking at ways to help immigrants climb the ladder of economic opportunity and welcome them into our communities. The New York State Assembly Majority strongly supports President Obama’s executive action on immigration, and further delay by those who would derail this important initiative is unacceptable,” said New York State Assembly Speaker Carl Heastie.
“Each day we wait to implement President Obama’s bold immigration reforms, millions of hard-working families remain in legal limbo. Immigrant communities built New York City, and they are the heart and soul of urban centers across our country,” said Public Advocate Letitia James. “As Congress and federal courts stall meaningful progress on immigration, New York City will continue to lead the nation.”
As part of Cities United for Immigration Action, Mayors de Blasio and Garcetti led the effort to organize more than 70 cities and counties, the National League of Cities, and the U.S. Conference of Mayors in arguing that the national public interest is served clearly and overwhelmingly by implementing immigration relief by executive action without delay. Today’s brief more than doubles the number of local governments that had previously voiced opposition to the lawsuit brought by states seeking to block President Obama’s immigration reform efforts.
The brief also argues that the District Court judge’s decision to block executive action with a preliminary injunction is bad for the economy, hurts families, threatens law enforcement priorities, and will stall desperately needed changes to the federal government’s immigration policies.
The de Blasio Administration has a proven track record of spearheading initiatives that integrate immigrants into the civic and economic life of New York City. From the IDNYC municipal identification program to increasing access to federal immigration benefits, New York City is committed to championing pro-immigrant policies that promote equity and create opportunity for all residents.
This collective action to offer the Court the crucial perspective of American cities and counties is an outcome of the organizing efforts of the Cities United for Immigration Action coalition. By filing this brief, America’s mayors and county leaders are making a strong statement in support of the President’s plan to grant administrative relief to over four million undocumented children and adults.
Numerous cities and counties signed on to today’s brief are located in states that brought the lawsuit against the Obama administration or have otherwise indicated support for the lawsuit, including five cities in Texas, six localities in New Jersey, two counties in Arizona, and three municipalities in Wisconsin. Cities and counties signed on to the brief (in formation) include the following local governments:
Central Falls, RI
Chapel Hill, NC
Coconino County, AZ
Dallas County, TX
El Paso County, TX
Highland Park, IL
Jersey City, NJ
Kansas City, MO
Little Rock, AR
Los Angeles, CA
Los Angeles County, CA
Lucas County, OH
Montgomery County, MD
New York, NY
Niagara Falls, NY
North Miami, FL
Ramsey County, MN
Salt Lake City, UT
San Francisco, CA
San Jose, CA
Santa Ana, CA
Santa Cruz County, AZ
Santa Fe, NM
Santa Monica, CA
St. Louis, MO
State College, PA
Travis County, TX
West Covina, CA
National League of Cities
U.S. Conference of Mayors
“Brooklyn is what America looks like, with nearly 40 percent of our residents being foreign-born, and when it comes to embracing our immigrant population, it is what America ought to be. President Obama's executive order on immigration is the most significant and meaningful step our nation has taken toward addressing this long-standing crisis and the millions of families who have been stuck in the shadows of our society, including hundreds of thousands right here in New York City. Our diversity is our greatest strength, and I join my fellow urban leaders from coast to coast in making this call to support the President's reforms,” said Brooklyn Borough President Eric Adams.
“Legally and morally, the president's executive action on immigration was both within his power and the right thing to do,” said Manhattan Borough President Gale Brewer. “Blocking its implementation will do real harm to cities. That’s why joining with other cities and counties across the country urging its implementation is the right thing as well.”
“We stand with New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio’s and Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti’s decision to file a ‘friend-of-the-court’ brief in support of President Barack Obama’s executive action on immigration,” said Bronx Borough President Ruben Diaz Jr. “The President’s executive action currently being blocked in the courts hurts The Bronx and New York City, with the borough losing out on potential local tax revenues that would be generated by these hard-working immigrants who just want to come out the shadows and positively contribute to our country. We are the land of opportunity, built on the ideal that we are melting pot that promotes equality for all and we must continue to strive for those ideals that make our country great.”
“President Obama's executive actions were bold and decisive steps toward fixing America's broken immigration system. The Statue of Liberty stands tall in our City, reminding us that America was built by generations of immigrants who came to its shores in search of a better life and a chance to make our country greater,” said U.S. Representative Charles Rangel. “I am proud to see that Mayor de Blasio is committed to keeping that promise alive for years to come.”
"The delay in the implementation of DAPA and expanded DACA threatens millions of American families with deportation, as well as the many communities, such as New York City, of which immigrants are an integral part,” said U.S. Representative Yvette Clarke. “No serious doubt exists that President Obama had the authority to establish DAPA and DACA. I want to commend Mayor de Blasio and the many community leaders across this nation who have raised their voices on behalf of millions of families who want to pursue the American Dream."
“In the absence of legislative action by House Republicans, President Obama took decisive action on immigration because he knows that there are real lives at stake in our current broken system,” said U.S. Representative Joe Crowley. “It is deeply troubling that a Texas judge known to be hostile to immigrants is delaying the President’s executive measures, especially given the legal precedents set by previous administrations. Halting action that will help keep American families together strikes at the heart of what our country ought to be about, and I thank Mayors de Blasio, Garcetti, and many others for taking a stand and showing the widespread support for the President’s action. I’m confident the Department of Justice will succeed in its appeal of this decision and that we will move forward with this much-needed action that will make such a difference in New York City and elsewhere.”
“I applaud Mayor de Blasio for working with cities across the nation to support President Obama’s executive actions on immigration,” said U.S. Representative Carolyn Maloney. “With over 12 million undocumented immigrants living in our country, comprehensive immigration reform is long overdue. Unfortunately, Congress has failed to act. That is why I strongly support President Obama’s executive actions, which will help keep families together, boost our economy and generate new tax revenue. These are common sense steps that mimic similar actions by Presidents Ronald Reagan and George H.W. Bush, and it’s long past time that President Obama’s reforms are implemented.”
“We can’t continue to delay implementing President Obama’s executive action on immigration. With this friend-of-the-court brief, New York City is joined by more than 70 cities nationwide in voicing its strong support for moving ahead with providing administrative deportation relief to more than 4 million immigrants with strong ties to the U.S. As the brief argues, the District Court’s holdup only hurts our economy, harmless immigrant families, and the federal government’s ability to address our broken immigration system. I applaud Mayor de Blasio for once again putting New York City at the forefront of efforts to help the immigrant community, in New York City, and nationwide,” said U.S. Representative José Serrano, Sr.
“The President’s immigration reforms make badly needed changes to a broken system and will benefit thousands of our neighbors,” stated U.S. Representative Nydia Velázquez. “It is critical for New York City and our nation as a whole that these reforms be implemented without delay.”
“Every day we delay fixing our broken immigration system is a missed opportunity,” said U.S. Representative Kathleen Rice. “There's no question that we need to keep fighting for comprehensive immigration reform at the federal level, but our local communities can't afford to wait when there's no sign that this Congress is willing to pass real legislative solutions. Thousands of hard-working Long Island families are ready to come out of the shadows, stop living in fear and start participating fully in our local economies, and there's no reason to deny them that opportunity any longer. Last week I joined several fellow Members of Congress in signing an amicus brief affirming our support for the government's appeal, and the brief filed today by Mayors de Blasio and Garcetti shows that local and federal leaders across the country are united in our commitment to implementing the President's executive actions.”
“Immigrants move New York's economy forward,” said State Senator Leroy Comrie. “I represent a district where over a third of its population is foreign-born, and where many more are the children and grandchildren of the rich immigrant legacy this city – and this nation – is so proud of. Immigrants are innovators, business owners and job creators: they augment this City's supply of capital and ideas to diversify its narrative and keep it nationally and globally competitive. Not only is it in our best interest to immediately implement the President's platform for immigration reform, but it is the socially and morally responsible thing to do.”
“Every day the President's executive actions on immigration are blocked, is another day hundreds of thousands of young adults and parents, trying to provide for their families, are unable to work. This is not good for anyone, and the leaders of our cities and counties across the country know this first hand. I thank them for standing with undocumented immigrants and working to bring them out of the shadows,” said State Senator Adriano Espaillat, Chair of the State Senate Puerto Rican/Latino Caucus.
“This friend-of-the-court brief stands with immigrants in our communities against needless delay in the urgently needed Deferred Action programs. President Obama has charted a course for a more compassionate immigration system – a system that treats our friends and neighbors with the dignity they deserve. I commend this action by Mayor de Blasio and dozens of mayors across the United States in keeping with the vision President Obama outlined. I join these mayors and leaders across the country in reaffirming our commitment to America’s longstanding tradition of welcoming immigrants to our communities,” said State Senator Jesse Hamilton.
“It is time to stop intolerant views toward our immigrants. I am in full support of this brief, which is intended to safeguard and implement President Obama’s executive actions on immigration that are intended to keep families together,” said State Senator Jose Peralta. “We, as immigrants, live in all cities across our nation, and blocking the implementation of the President’s policies, hurts not just families fighting for the American Dream, but also our ongoing efforts to enrich and repair our economy.”
“I am very proud that New York City is leading the way on a collective amicus brief in the Texas vs. United States case which calls for swift and sweeping implementation of President Obama’s executive actions concerning rational immigration policy. The lives of millions of people hang in the balance, so many of them New Yorkers who share the same hopes, dreams and aspirations that each successive wave of immigrants harbored generations ago. Each of them found a true home here and it is time for our City and Country to open our arms and our hearts in the name of fundamental human rights,” said State Senator Bill Perkins.
“The implementation of President Obama's executive action on immigration is imperative to ensuring we support the countless immigrants that contribute to the social and economic life of our country,” said State Senator Gustavo Rivera. “We are a country of immigrants, and this executive action will help us strengthen and protect our diverse population, while honoring our values as Americans. I commend and thank Mayor de Blasio for having New York join cities and counties across our country in taking legal action to support an initial step towards immigration reform."
“Here in a city and state where we pride ourselves on diversity, we can only benefit from the implementation of President Obama’s executive action on immigration,” said State Senator James Sanders Jr. “It will allow for a reprieve from deportation while giving the undocumented a chance to work, providing a much needed boost to the economy. Just this past week, the state budget failed to include the DREAM Act, which would have given thousands of vibrant young people a chance at success by allowing them to continue their education and creating a pathway to citizenship. Let’s not miss another opportunity to help build a stronger New York."
"Unjust deportations have continued to tear apart our families, our schools and our communities. We must act swiftly in implementing President Obama's immigration executive action in order to protect these important populations. Immigrants are the backbone of our communities, and I thank Mayors de Blasio and Garcetti for creating a united front to demonstrate our support for the swift implementation of the President's measures," said State Senator José Serrano.
“The delay to President Obama’s executive action on immigration is intolerable and comes with a real cost to real people,” said Assembly Member Rodneyse Bichotte. “Every day, families of aspiring Americans are destroyed by a system badly in need of reform and the President’s executive action offers needed help. I join with Mayor de Blasio and Eric Garcetti in the Texas v. United States lawsuit to urge immediate implementation of President Obama's executive actions on immigration. As a daughter of Haitian immigrants, and as a proud citizen of the United States and elected official of New York, I have a duty to act on behalf of the social justice of our people—as well as a fiduciary responsibility to ensure our economies gain the benefits immigration brings.”
“As a child of Jamaican immigrants, it is personal for me that we stand up for Immigration justice and demand immediate action. The implementation of President Obama’s executive actions on immigration is a moral, social, and economic necessity. The delays are inexcusable, and we must move forward. In past years, immigrants in NYC have accounted for more than $200 billion in economic activity to help revitalize vibrant neighborhoods including the work of Latino, Caribbean and African entrepreneurs in the South Bronx. Through hard work and tireless dedication, Immigrants embody the entrepreneurial spirit that makes our country so beautiful, and the best country in the world,” said Assembly Member Michael Blake. “Immigrants are our neighbors, our friends, and our family, and I proudly stand with Mayor Bill de Blasio and Eric Garcetti in calling for our judicial system to do the right thing, the humane thing, the compassionate thing, and give our communities the life they deserve.”
“I want to commend Mayor de Blasio and all the other mayors for supporting immigration reforms. Implementation of the President’s Immigration Executive action will provide much needed relief to immigrant families suffering under our broken system and is a crucial first step on the road to treating our immigrants with the fairness and respect they deserve,” said Assembly Member Guillermo Linares.
“Every month that goes by without President Obama’s executive actions is another month that families can be ripped apart,” said Assembly Member Francisco Moya. “For those of us who deal with the fallout from our nation’s flawed immigration policies on a daily basis, we know how critical the President’s executive actions truly are. Keeping families together is not only the right thing to do; it’s also in our nation’s best interest.”
“Mayor de Blasio is taking the right step filing today's court brief,” said Assembly Member Felix Ortiz. “Without action from the Congress and State Legislature, we must support President Obama's efforts to protect workers and their families from deportation. While we keep the fight alive in Albany for the Dream Act, driver licenses and state-issued identification cards for non-citizens and better wages for all workers, today's action by our Mayor and by so many others across the nation is a positive step to make life better for millions. We can't wait any longer.”
“We need comprehensive immigration reform immediately,” said Assembly Member Robert Rodriguez. “President Obama’s Executive action is a huge step towards creating fair policies that help our growing immigrant communities of New York City thrive, any hindrance to its enactment harms us irreparably.”
“It is clear that our immigration system is broken and comprehensive reform is needed to provide long-term relief for the families who have contributed to the growth and prosperity of our nation," said Assembly Member Nily Rozic. "Filing this brief is reflective of New York City's commitment to advancing immigrants' rights and I commend the Mayor for his continued advocacy and leadership on this urgent issue.
“With an estimated 100,000 undocumented immigrants in New York City who would benefit greatly from President Obama’s executive action this brief sends a strong message on the importance of implementing these reforms,” said Assembly Member Luis Sepúlveda. “New York has long been at the forefront of immigration reform. Mayor de Blasio has proven his commitment to immigrants throughout his first year in office and continues to through actions like this. I commend the Mayor and the many other cities and counties for supporting these initiatives, as implementing each one of them will be for the national public interest.”
“Opportunity for families in America to obtain basic rights and a better quality of life should not be dictated by political games. The partisan stalling of President Obama's Immigration Executive Action is sophomoric, and the District Court's preliminary objection undoubtedly has a deleterious effect on our national economy. New York City is, and always has been a city of immigrants, and we have this community to thank for the strength we enjoy as a City and a Nation . I am proud of New York City's participation in the amicus brief filed in Texas vs. United States, and am hopeful that the demand from such a robust list of diverse urban areas will bring us closer to real reform which has been long overdue," said Assembly Member Keith Wright.
“I commend Mayor de Blasio in joining the effort to defend the President’s Administrative Relief that offers potential relief to millions of immigrants with strong ties to our nation, and who already work hard and contribute to make this a better country. While the Court stalls, and Congress fails to enact meaningful immigration reform, New York City will continue to protect the rights of immigrants and ensure that their contributions to our City are recognized—and celebrated. Our City continues to offer affirming spaces for immigrant populations, and I am hopeful that this action from our Mayor—and from his colleagues from around the country—will provide some context about the urgent need for the implementation of the President’s programs,” said Council Member Carlos Menchaca, Chair of the Committee on Immigration.
“I support the new friend-of-the-court brief urging immediate implementation of President Obama’s executive actions on immigration. Immigrants are in important part of the fabric of our society and economy and granting administrative relief to those immigrants in need is an act of social responsibility,” said Council Member Inez Barron.
“I applaud New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio for joining Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti in filing a friend-of-the-court brief calling for implementation of President Obama’s executive action on immigration. As an elected official representing an area with a significant immigrant population, I join with others across the country in urging the courts to move forward on providing deportation relief. The President’s immigration policies provide a just, sensible solution for millions of immigrants who live in the U.S. and contribute to our nation’s society in myriad ways. From an economic perspective, there is no question that New York stands to benefit from implementation of these policies, as significant tax revenues would be generated by the granting of temporary work permits to our City’s population of 100,000 immigrants,” said Council Member Fernando Cabrera.
“President Obama’s executive action on immigration will have a profoundly positive impact on thousands of families in our city, and it must be implemented immediately,” said Council Member Margaret Chin. “I strongly support today’s legal action in support of the President’s reforms, and I thank Mayor de Blasio for his continued leadership on this fundamentally important issue.”
“New York City is, was, and always will be a leader in the immigrant rights movement. We stand united in support of President Obama's Executive Order,” said Council Member Andrew Cohen.
"We have waited for federal immigration reform for too long,” said Council Member Costa Constantinides. “The current federal laws are broken and lead to families being broken up or to unwarranted detention. President Obama’s executive order will take significant steps to help ameliorate these concerns. We must ensure due process and respect for all. I stand with Mayor De Blasio, Mayor Garcetti, and with 70 other cities across the nation that support the President’s order."
“The stand the District Court Judge has taken against immigration reform is harming the future of our country, our immigrants,” said Council Member Daniel Dromm. “I am glad Mayor de Blasio has signed on to an amicus brief to push back against the court’s anti-immigrant actions. In New York City we support our immigrants not hold them back by putting obstacles to citizenship in their way.”
“I applaud Mayor de Blasio and the Mayors of more than 70 cities across the country for making it clear that they are ready, willing, and able to implement the reforms proposed by President Obama’s executive action. As the son of immigrants, I know firsthand the difficulties faced by those who have come to the United States seeking a better life for themselves and their families. Our immigration system is broken and full implementation of President Obama’s executive action is necessary in order to ensure more families are not harmed by failed policies,” said Council Member Rafael Espinal.
“President Obama’s executive action would be a lifeline to many families in our City who only want to work hard and provide more than they had for their children,” said Council Member Julissa Ferreras. “The continued delay of immigration reform only hurts our cities by separating families as well as denying our local governments millions of dollars in tax revenue. I commend Mayor de Blasio, Mayor Garcetti and the chief executives of over 70 American cities for championing this issue in our courts and call on Congress to finally do the right thing and recognize that immigration reform makes sense for all.”
“For too long, cities have been trying to navigate a federal immigration policy that is in dire need of reform. The President's executive actions were an important first step toward making sense of those immigration policies. Delaying their implementation creates very real problems for the cities that are on the front lines of the immigration debate,” said Council Member Dan Garodnick.
“By delaying the implementation of immigration reform, the court is making a decision that hurts state and local economies and needlessly diverts law enforcement attention,” said Council Member Vanessa Gibson. “Spending tax dollars to prosecute otherwise law abiding residents who want to work here, raise families here, and spend money here is a policy that has never made sense and I urge the court to recognize the considerable good immigration reform will bring to our communities. I am proud to stand with legislators within New York and around the country in support of President Obama’s actions and I look forward to a favorable decision that will uphold the ordered relief of nearly 4 million undocumented adults and children.”
“Today, New York City stands with over 70 American municipalities in support of President Obama’s recent executive action on immigration,” said Council Member Corey Johnson. “If implemented, the plan would grant much needed administrative relief and protection from deportation to over 4 million undocumented individuals. Our country and New York City were built by immigrants and their families. Barring immigrants from fully participating in American civic and economic life is contrary to our values. It’s time to make a change.”
“We are a nation of immigrants, including my grandparents who came here to escape antisemitism, and the grandparents of so many. We must continue to accept all those 'yearning to breathe free',” said Council Member Ben Kallos. “The state invests resources in every person the second they set foot in our soil. By welcoming people with open arms, we guarantee a return on that investment. I applaud Mayors de Blasio and Garcetti for urging the immediate implementation of President Obama's immigration reforms."
“President Obama has signed an Executive Order and it’s shameful and unheard of for the District Court judge to block the executive action,” said Council Member Andy King, Co-Chair of the Black, Latino & Asian Caucus. “New York is and has always been a city of immigrants and President Obama’s vision allows for immediate reform in our communities. I stand with the Mayor and the President and all Americans across the nation committed to justice and our voices will be heard.”
"I see every day the positive impact immigrants have on our communities, as a representative of one of the most diverse areas in the country," said Council Member Rory Lancman. "Immigrants start businesses, pay taxes and raise their children here. Unfortunately, current US immigration policies leave far too many of our neighbors afraid that they will be deported from the country that has been their home for years. Mayor de Blasio's brief, joined by so many other cities, sends a clear message to the Court that cities support the President's action and want our immigrants to be able to come out of the shadows."
“New York City can’t wait any longer for implementation of President Obama’s executive action on immigration,” said Council Member Steve Levin. “Thank you to Mayor de Blasio and cities and counties around the United States who are taking a stand for smart and needed immigration reforms.”
“Undocumented immigrants and their families have waited far too long for substantive and comprehensive immigration reform. Not only do we need these reforms to be effectuated, we also need more policies that will help bring relief to millions of immigrants, help keep their families together, while strengthening our economy. I’m proud to stand with Mayor de Blasio, my colleagues in City Council, and the cities and counties across the country, who are fighting for the rights of our immigrant communities,” said Council Member Annabel Palma.
“I’d like to thank Mayor de Blasio for taking leadership on this important issue. Implementation of President Obama’s executive order would have a major positive impact on the lives of our immigrant communities,” said Council Member Antonio Reynoso.
“I am proud to stand with Mayor De Blasio and 70 other municipalities throughout the nation in full support of President Obama’s executive action on immigration,” said Council Member Donovan Richards. “The history of the United States is a history of immigrants. Extending temporary relief from deportation for residents that contribute millions of dollars to our domestic economy is common sense.
“President Obama's actions will bring 5 million immigrants out of the shadows. For years these families have lived with the constant anxiety and fear of deportation. But no longer. Now undocumented immigrants can apply to receive services that they've long deserved. By receiving social security cards and work permits so many will be able to legally work towards the American Dream they came to pursue,” said Council Member Ydanis Rodriguez. “However, some among us want to push these families back into the shadows. Today we, the cities that drive our country's economy forward, stand united in support of the President’s actions.”
“The temporary work permits granted by President Barack Obama's executive action are essential to the daily functions of New York City and cities nationwide. We are a nation of immigrants, and delaying implementation of this program is, frankly, un-American. I stand with Mayors Bill de Blasio and Eric Garcetti and the 72 cities and counties throughout the US (list in formation), in urging immediate implementation of this executive action,” said Council Member Helen Rosenthal.
“Immigrants make critical contributions our local economies and civic infrastructure, but cannot continue doing so if they are living in the shadows. The growing list of municipalities and counties signed onto the brief further underscores the importance and urgency of administrative relief for millions of undocumented children and adults. The Mayor has been a tireless champion of New York’s immigrant communities and I commend him for spearheading this effort,” said Council Member Richie Torres.
“I support the immediate implementation of President Obama’s executive order,” said Council Member Mark Weprin. “Immigrants have always played a vital role in shaping our nation’s economy and continue to contribute every day to the vitality of New York City.”
“Delaying President Obama’s executive orders to implement real immigration reform only puts New York City’s efforts to provide countless families economic opportunity they need on hold,” said New York City Council Majority Leader Jimmy Van Bramer. “Now is the time to act and our City is prepared to. I support Mayor de Blasio and numerous other cities throughout our nation’s efforts to begin implementing much-needed reforms for the millions of families who are looking to us for assistance to become included and engaged citizens of New York City and our great nation.”
“The time for a rational immigration policy has long been overdue. Where Congress has failed to act in the collective interest of the American people, President Obama has sought to step into the breach. The use of executive authority on this issue is with precedent, and this unfortunate maneuver by the State of Texas to stymie him ignores the greater economic, security, and familial needs of all our citizens. Mayor de Blasio recognizes these plain truths, and I support the amicus brief he and so many other municipalities, nationwide, have filed in support of the President’s action,” said Council Member Ruben Wills.
“In cities across the country, hard-working men and women are waiting for President Obama's Executive Action to go into effect so they can live and work without fear of deportation and separation from their families,” said Hector Figueroa, President of 32BJ SEIU. “In Boston, New York, Philadelphia, Washington DC and many more cities up and down the East Coast, 32BJ members have long been part of the fight for immigration reform and we will continue to take action in Congress and on the streets until these reforms are implemented. It is the humane and just thing to do for immigrants and the right path forward for our country.”
“Immigrants are essential to local economies and industries throughout our country, especially the hospitality industry. Today's actions show that local governments recognize that delaying the President's Executive Action not only harms millions of working families but also jeopardizes recovering local economies," said Peter Ward, President of the Hotel Trades Council.
“Workers and their families desperately need the immediate implementation of President Obama’s Executive Action for immigration reform. We commend these cities and their elected officials for submitting an amicus brief in support of President Obama’s Executive Action, the most far reaching immigration reform initiative in decades. Cities make up the backbone of the U.S. economy, much of it based on the work of immigrants. Millions of hard working immigrant families stand to benefit from this action, and they deserve this administrative relief,” said Stuart Appelbaum, President of Retail, Wholesale and Department Store Union.
“The AFL-CIO has made supporting real immigration reform one of our top priorities because we understand the importance of ensuring that all workers receive the wages and benefits to which they are entitled,” said Vincent Alvarez, President of the New York City Central Labor Council, AFL-CIO. “By allowing undocumented workers to come out of the shadows, we will be working to eradicate the tools that allow unscrupulous employers to drive down wages, and rob workers of fair pay, benefits, and workplace rights. The implementation of President Obama's immigration recommendations is already long overdue. Let's make this happen for New York City's workers.”
“Immigrants, including many who would be eligible for work permits under President Obama's Executive Action, contribute every day to the vibrancy and health of our cities. The Executive Action will keep families together, boost our economy and focus law enforcement resources. We applaud Mayor de Blasio's advocacy on behalf of these hard-working New Yorkers and join him in calling for immediate implementation of the action,” said Maria Castaneda, Secretary-Treasurer of 1199 SEIU.
"We applaud Mayors de Blasio and Garcetti for leading the charge to demand immediate implementation of immigration relief to keep families together across the United States. As our communities demand action, scores of cities from coast to coast are stepping up and saying with one voice that the Court of Appeals must allow President Obama's administrative actions, which are grounded in strong legal precedent, to move forward," said Javier H. Valdés, co-Executive Director of Make the Road New York.
“Very much like every major city in America, New York City is a strong and vibrant city thanks to our immigrant population,” said Jonathan Westin, Executive Director of New York Communities for Change. “Our cities are better when our immigrant brothers and sisters can thrive. Therefore, we urge the immediate implementation of the President’s Immigration Executive Action. Our cities have too much to lose if action is not taken now.”
“We are proud that our city’s Mayor Bill de Blasio is setting a precedent by taking legal action and making it known that the delays to President Obama’s executive actions are unacceptable,” said Steven Choi, executive director of the New York Immigration Coalition. “The NYIC and our membership, along with our city and state partners including the Mayor’s Office of Immigrant Affairs, continue our efforts to prepare the 100,000 plus New Yorkers who can benefit from these programs. We stand with Mayors Bill de Blasio and Eric Garcetti in the call for immediate implementation of immigration relief.”
"At a time when anti-immigrant voices are using myths about immigrants and the effects of immigration to derail a constructive national policy debate, few actions are more important than local governments uniting to fight for immediate relief and implementation of President Obama's Immigration Executive Actions. In outlining the economic and fiscal benefits of deferred action policies, New York City is a key stakeholder. Mayor Bill de Blasio has underscored once again our city's courage in the fight for justice and we stand in solidarity to see administrative relief programs take full-effect immediately," said Lucia Gomez, Executive Director of La Fuente.
“The Asian American Federation fully supports Mayors de Blasio and Garcetti’s appeal to implement President Obama’s executive action without any further delay. Immigrants and their families, who have made valuable contributions to the U.S., deserve the temporary relief and protection that this immigration reform provides. We stand with our community to ensure that the President’s executive action sees the light of day,” said Jo-Ann Yoo, Executive Director of the Asian American Federation.
"Millions of lives are on hold as President Obama's legal Executive Action is being dragged through the courts. Northern Manhattan Coalition for Immigrant Rights commends Mayors de Blasio and Garcetti for supporting legal action urging immediate implementation of Executive Action," said Angela Fernandez, Executive Director of Northern Manhattan Coalition for Immigrant Rights.
"Immigration reform is vital for New York's African immigrant communities," said Amaha Kassa, Executive Director of African Communities Together. "All of our members have heard about President Obama's executive actions, many are qualified and ready to apply for relief, and none of them can understand why progress has been put on hold. This filing sends an important message that New York City has immigrants' backs, even if some states have chosen to send the opposite message.”
“President Obama’s November, 2014 Deferred Action programs – both the DACA extension and DAPA – should be implemented now. With each passing day, families continue to be torn apart, leaving behind American children to fend for themselves. Hard-working immigrant parents live in fear and are preyed upon, and cannot become full members of our society. As the child of Mexican immigrant parents whose life dramatically changed after they received legal status via IRCA, the benefits of immigration relief to are society are clear to me. My parents became homeowners and were able to support three college graduates. I applaud Mayors De Blasio and Garcetti, along with the 70 cities and counties who have signed on, for their leadership and for lending their voice to challenge the Texas vs. United States lawsuit, said Aracelis Lucero, Executive Director of Masa, Inc.
“Chicago has always been a city of immigrants, and for us to stay true to our history and our values, we must ensure that immigrants can fully participate in all aspects of our economic and cultural life,” said Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel. “We are proud to join numerous cities in filing this amicus brief to support President Obama’s executive actions on immigration. They will help keep families together, increase safety in our communities, and maximize the contributions that immigrants make every day in every part of our city.”
“Cities are strongly affected by immigration. The old, dysfunctional immigration policies hurt our economies, our neighborhoods, our businesses and our residents. The President is attempting to interject common sense and humanity. We are grateful for his efforts and we stand with him,” said Portland Mayor Charlie Hales.
“I am signing onto this brief because as a nation of immigrants, I believe ensuring access to a fair and legal process for people to come to this country and pursue their dreams reflects our highest values,” said Chapel Hill Mayor Mark Kleinschmidt.
“We must do better to honor our country's proud immigration tradition. Too many immigrants live in fear, afraid to become members of our society, while Congress fails to take any meaningful action to fix a broken immigration system. Their inaction has real consequences for our communities, which is why I fully support President Obama's leadership and common sense executive actions. I thank Mayor de Blasio for initiating this brief and building this important coalition of leaders,” said Hoboken Mayor Dawn Zimmer.
“The Emerald Isle Immigration Center (EIIC) is gratified to learn of the amicus brief filed in the Texas litigation by the heads of 70 local governments across the United States and Mayor Bill de Blasio's steadfast support of New York's immigrant communities, in particular. The longstanding Congressional logjam has prevented meaningful reform of U.S. immigration laws, harming local residents both socially and economically. The EIIC continues to endorse measured, thoughtful responses within existing legal structures, such as President Obama’s administrative actions, to help our immigrant communities in need and distress,” said Siobhan Dennehy, Executive Director of the Emerald Isle Immigration Center.