Washington, D.C. – The nation’s largest and most influential group of mayors this week called on Congress and the Administration to fix the country’s broken immigration system and immediately begin working toward the enactment of comprehensive immigration reform.
At a press conference during The United States Conference of Mayors’ (USCM) 85th Winter Meeting in Washington, D.C., a bipartisan group of mayors led by Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti who Chairs the Conference’s Latino Alliance, Providence (RI) Mayor Jorge Elorza and Anaheim (CA) Mayor Tom Tait, Co-Chairs of the Conference’s Immigration Reform Task Force, and Seattle (WA) Mayor Ed Murray, who Chairs the Mayors and Police Chiefs Task Force, discussed a resolution adopted by the Conference’s Executive Committee which calls for enactment of bipartisan comprehensive immigration reform, the continuation of programs that protect the temporary status of Dreamers, and recognizes the social, economic and cultural contributions of immigrant communities nationwide.
The strength of American cities rests on making sure that we have pathways toward full participation and inclusion for all Americans,” said Mayor Garcetti. “This resolution says to the American people — regardless of party or ideology — that mayors are united in the belief we can and must fix our broken immigration system.”
“This step the Conference is taking is part of a longer and larger legacy of inclusion and kindness towards others, and is encouraging during this time of anxiety in our communities”, said Mayor Elorza. “America has always been a country of immigrants, and America’s mayors value the contributions they make to our cities. We call on Congress to pass comprehensive immigration reform, to protect the dreamers, and to enact inclusive policies that give everyone a chance to pursue the American dream.”
“As mayors, we are with the community and we see the human costs of this broken system. I joined this task force for the sole purpose of urging members to address this issue. There is widespread support and mayors have a unique perspective on this issue, said Mayor Tait. “The message is simply: bipartisan mayors are seeking immigration reform to fix a broken immigration system and are asking Congress to do it and start immediately,” he concluded.
The bipartisan group of mayors also held a larger joint session on immigration before the general body of the Conference, which included questions from the audience.
“One-in-five Seattleites was born in a different country and our city is a stronger, more prosperous place because of our immigrant story,” said Mayor Murray at the evening session. “But I’ve seen the fear in the eyes of our immigrant and refugee children, who fear for themselves and their families as we look to an uncertain time. That is why we as a city are acting to help our friends, family and neighbors take the next step, whether that is applying for citizenship, learning about their rights, or accessing legal advice. We are going to stand with and support our immigrant and refugee communities.”
“The Conference has worked for quite some time on the issue of immigration reform and I am pleased that my colleagues have prepared language that has received strong bipartisan support. The Conference’s stance on this issue is clear and I want to thank the mayors who were involved in the resolution process,” said USCM President Oklahoma City (OK) Mayor Cornett. Tom Cochran, CEO & Executive Director of The Conference said, “This resolution is official policy of the organization, and as Executive Director, I intend to put the full force of the nation’s mayors behind it.”
Tom Cochran, CEO & Executive Director of The Conference said, “This resolution is official policy of the organization, and as Executive Director, I intend to put the full force of the nation’s mayors behind it.”