NILC: Mayors’ Defense of the President’s Action on Immigration Brings Critical Voice to Legal Battle

Jan. 28, 2015

Adela de la Torre,, 213-400-7822

Mayors’ Defense of the President’s Action on Immigration Brings Critical Voice to Legal Battle

WASHINGTON — The National League of Cities, the U.S. Conference of Mayors, which is made up of cities with populations of 30,000 or more, and 33 individual mayors, including those from the nation’s five largest cities — New York, Los Angeles, Chicago, Houston, and Philadelphia — filed an amicus curiae (“friend-of-the-court”) brief with a Texas federal district court today supporting President Obama’s executive actions on immigration, citing the numerous benefits to the economy, public safety, and their cities’ residents. The National Immigration Law Center (NILC) lauds the court filing by the mayors, which brings a critical voice to the legal battle initiated by politicians who are challenging the president’s authority to provide administrative relief to 4-5 million immigrants.

The amicus brief was filed in the case of State of Texas, et al. v. United States.The lawsuit brought by 26 states attempts to block the president’s immigration initiatives that would allow eligible parents of U.S. citizens or lawful permanent residents to apply for temporary deferral of deportation and work authorization (the administration’s Deferred Action for Parents of Americans and Lawful Permanent Residents, or DAPA, program). The president’s executive action would also expand the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program for qualifying immigrants who were brought to the U.S. as children.

The mayors highlight in the court filing that the administration’s executive actions will fuel economic growth across the U.S., increase public safety by encouraging more immigrant residents to trust and cooperate with local law enforcement, further the full integration of immigrants into their communities, and protect family unity, which benefits all communities.

“A preliminary injunction preventing all these immigrants the opportunity to more fully integrate and continue contributing to their communities would most assuredly harm cities and is not in the public interest,” according to the legal brief by the mayors.

Scores of legal experts agree that the president has the legal authority to take these executive steps. And earlier this month, major cities’ police chiefs filed abrief with the federal district court in defense of President Obama’s executive actions, arguing that blocking the start of the initiatives would hurt community policing efforts.

“Today, major U.S. cities join in the legal defense of the executive actions on immigration, also stating to the court that blocking the start of the programs would violate the public interest,” said NILC Staff Attorney Nora Preciado. “This large group of mayors represents a critical voice in this debate, as they see firsthand the economic and community contributions of immigrant workers, and they want the increased participation of their communities as a whole, regardless of immigration status, so that the vitality of their neighborhoods, the economy, and public safety are enhanced.”

In addition to the National League of Cities and the U.S. Conference of Mayors, the following mayors joined the brief:

Mayor Bill de Blasio of New York, New York
Mayor Eric Garcetti of Los Angeles, California
Mayor Kasim Reed of Atlanta, Georgia
Mayor Stephanie Rawlings-Blake of Baltimore, Maryland
Mayor Byron Brown of Buffalo, New York
Mayor James Diossa of Central Falls, Rhode Island
Mayor Rahm Emanuel of Chicago, Illinois
Mayor Steve Benjamin of Columbia, South Carolina
Mayor Nan Whaley of Dayton, Ohio
Mayor Michael Hancock of Denver, Colorado
Mayor Muriel Bowser of Washington, D.C.
Mayor Riley Rogers of Dolton, Illinois
Mayor Pedro Segarra of Hartford, Connecticut
Mayor Annise Parker of Houston, Texas
Mayor Steven Fulop of Jersey City, New Jersey
Mayor Paul Soglin of Madison, Wisconsin
Mayor Betsy Hodges of Minneapolis, Minnesota
Mayor Ras Baraka of Newark, New Jersey
Mayor Jean Quan of Oakland, California
Mayor Michael Nutter of Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
Mayor Bill Peduto of Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania
Mayor Charles Hales, on behalf of the City Council of the City of Portland, Oregon
Mayor Jorge O. Elorza of Providence, Rhode Island
Mayor John Dickert of Racine, Wisconsin
Mayor Tom Butt of Richmond California
Mayor Lovely Warren of Rochester, New York
Mayor Ralph Becker of Salt Lake City, Utah
Mayor Ed Lee of San Francisco, California
Mayor Gary McCarthy of Schenectady, New York
Mayor Ed Murray of Seattle, Washington
Mayor Francis Slay of St. Louis, Missouri
Mayor Marilyn Strickland of Tacoma, Washington
Mayor Mike Spano of Yonkers, New York

The mayors’ legal brief is available at

More information about the president’s actions is available

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