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Mayor Bill de Blasio Hosts Immigration Summit for Cities Across Country

December 8, 2014

Mayors and representatives from over two dozen cities came together to discuss implementation of President Obama’s plan to act on immigration and strategize on effectively building grassroots coalition to push for comprehensive immigration reform

NEW YORK—Mayor Bill de Blasio today at Gracie Mansion convened over a dozen Mayors and representatives from across the country for an immigration summit. The summit focused on coordinating and sharing expertise for the implementation of President Obama’s plans to act on immigration. The Mayors also discussed the road ahead and strategies to push for comprehensive immigration reform.

At Gracie Mansion, the Mayors signed on to Mayor Bill de Blasio’s Five Point Challenge to:

  • Launch a mayoral war room for federal action on immigration reform
  • Establish local Cities United for Immigration Action coalitions
  • Safeguard immigrants from fraudulent services
  • Reach all eligible applicants through community outreach and public education
  • Audit services and programs to ensure efficient and affordable delivery of services to maximize enrollment by city residents

Following the Summit, the cities will take the ideas and expertise discussed at the Immigration Summit today and build grassroots support at the local level through strategies including:

  • Organizing local coalitions for action—including faith, business, community and labor leaders—before Congress gets back for unified demonstration of solidarity.
  • A Mayoral Lobby Day in DC—after matching congressional members to mayoral coalition members—to push back against any efforts to dismantle the President’s Executive Actions and push for comprehensive immigration reform.
  • Convening state tables of mayors in key states, working with allies to have parallel organizing, labor, faith tables in each state, and bringing in key suburban or county leaders.
  • Generating constituent call-in and email-in to push for action with key targets in each state.
  • Coordinating Know Your Rights events in all cities with allies, partners, and stakeholders as the first phase of the President’s plan goes into effect.
  • Highlighting stories of DREAMers who have been or will be helped by the President’s Executive Actions.

The summit included Mayors and staff representing 25 cities from across the country, including: Atlanta, Boston, Buffalo, Charlotte, Dayton, Hartford, Houston, Jersey City, Los Angeles, Louisville, Madison, New Haven, Newark, Philadelphia, Pittsburgh, Providence, Salt Lake City, San Francisco, San Juan, Santa Fe, Schenectady, Seattle, Syracuse, Tacoma and Washington, D.C.

Mayors in attendance:

  • Mayor Bill de Blasio, New York, NY
  • Mayor Ras Baraka, Newark, NJ
  • Mayor Ralph Becker, Salt Lake City, UT
  • Mayor‐Elect Muriel Bowser, Washington, D.C.
  • Mayor Byron Brown, Buffalo, NY
  • Mayor-Elect Jorge Elorza, Providence, RI
  • Mayor Javier Gonzales, Santa Fe, NM
  • Mayor Toni Harp, New Haven, CT
  • Mayor Edwin Lee, San Francisco, CA
  • Mayor Gary McCarthy, Schenectady, NY
  • Mayor Stephanie Miner, Syracuse, NY
  • Mayor Edward Murray, Seattle, WA
  • Mayor Kasim Reed, Atlanta, GA
  • Mayor Pedro Segarra, Hartford, CT
  • Mayor Paul Soglin, Madison, WI
  • Mayor Marilyn Strickland, Tacoma, WA
  • Mayor Angel Taveras, Providence, RI
  • Mayor Nan Whaley, Dayton, OH

The Cities United for Immigration Action coalition, launched two weeks ago, includes an additional 18 cities who were not able to join the summit.

“The President’s plan to act on immigration reform is crucial to creating a more just country, and the federal government is depending on cities to implement the plan. It is critical that we get it right,” said Mayor Bill de Blasio. “Mayors are in the trenches and see firsthand the need for comprehensive immigration reform. We will take this opportunity to lay the ground work for a deeper national movement from the grassroots up.”

“As the son of immigrant parents, this issue is personal to me. The President’s bold action on immigration has set the course, and now we must follow through,” said San Francisco Mayor Ed Lee. “Most of the nation’s 12 million undocumented immigrants live in America’s cities, and so as Mayors we must lead on this reform to provide all of our residents with hope, opportunities and the services they deserve. We know our diversity drives our economies and makes us stronger. I thank New York City Mayor de Blasio for convening us today, and I am eager to create the change we need to see in our cities to help our residents succeed.”

“The President has taken an important first step in moving our nation forward on the critical issue of immigration. I applaud his efforts, which in many ways mirror the spirit of our Utah Compact. I appreciate meeting with his White House team and the Secretary of Homeland Security Jeh Johnson this morning thanks to New York Mayor de Blasio.  We will all work together on the vital next steps,” said Salt Lake City Mayor Ralph Becker.

“President Obama has defined a path forward on immigration and we are so grateful for that. I appreciate Mayor de Blasio convening us today. As Mayors, we will now take the baton and work within our communities to ensure we make this successful. But to be truly successful, we need Congress to pass comprehensive immigration reform,” said Hartford Mayor Pedro Segarra.

“Our immigration system is broken. Every day Congress delays action on meaningful reform further hurts families and affects our economy. These issues impact our cities each day, which is why I am proud to join Mayor de Blasio and others to support the President’s executive order and implement change now. We can no longer afford to wait,” said Providence Mayor Angel Taveras.

“We’re committed to comprehensive immigration reform, which will start with acting thoughtfully to ensure that millions of families benefit from the President’s important incremental action," said Mayor Ed Murray of Seattle. “But we must do more to protect the parents of Dreamers, themselves inspired by the American dream, who work two or three jobs to put their kids through college. As mayors, we’re working in our communities to build the coalition – business, labor, faith communities and others – that will achieve the broader solution,” from Seattle Mayor Ed Murray.

“Immigration has been the foundation for human capital on which cities like Syracuse were built and we need comprehensive solutions for the next generation,” said Syracuse Mayor Stephanie A. Miner. “I’m pleased to work with Mayors from across the country to address this issue.”

We are a nation of immigrants. The longer we wait for comprehensive immigration reform, the longer we wait to realize our full economic and social potential as a nation. I'm proud to stand with my fellow mayors in support of President Obama's executive order that will keep families intact, encourage entrepreneurship, create jobs and help immigrants of all ages fully participate in our communities,” said Tacoma Mayor Marilyn Strickland.

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