The U.S. Conference of Mayors Registers Strong Support for Refugees and Immigrants

Washington, D.C.  – The U.S. Conference of Mayors top officers issued the following statement today in response to President Trump’s Executive Order issued late Friday halting the admission of refugees or other immigrants into the United States:

“At our June 2016 annual meeting The U.S. Conference of Mayors adopted policy recognizing our country’s “strong tradition of providing safe haven, freedom, and opportunity to refugees fleeing the world’s most dangerous and desperate situations.”  That policy opposes “severely restricting the current refugee admission system” and “opposing all forms of discrimination and hate speech based on an individual’s religion and country of origin.”  We believe that we must “continue to welcome Muslims as residents of the United States, and reaffirming the freedom of religion and the right to live without fear and intimidation. “

“We agree with Senators Graham and McCain that “our government has a responsibility to defend our borders, but we must do so in a way that makes us safer and upholds all that is decent and exceptional about our nation. It is clear from the confusion at our airports across the nation that President Trump’s executive order was not properly vetted. We are particularly concerned by reports that this order went into effect with little to no consultation with the Departments of State, Defense, Justice, and Homeland Security.”

“America’s mayors urge President Trump to reconsider the breadth of his executive order halting the admission of refugees and other immigrants to the United States. We will always be opposed to any discrimination based on race or religion and we believe the United States can protect its citizens while remaining a refuge for those seeking freedom and the opportunity for a better life through legal immigration.”

Below is a sample of links, statements and social media posts from individual mayors across the country.

New Orleans Mayor Mitch Landrieu: ”Protecting America must always be our top priority but the President’s Executive Order is un-American, un-Christian and will not make us safer. In fact, President Trump’s discriminatory travel ban will make our country less safe because it will further alienate us from Muslim allies in the fight against terrorism and extremism.

“Turning our back on those in need has never been a value of this nation.  America cannot be a great nation, unless we remain a good nation.

“New Orleans will remain a welcoming city because we know that our diversity is a strength. We also know all too well what it feels like to seek shelter and refuge in a place that is not your home.

“Some of the darkest times in our nation’s history were when immigrants, minorities, refugees or the most vulnerable among us were discriminated against by our government.  History will judge this as one of those times if we do no act. I hope that President Trump will reconsider his decision. America deserves better.”

Columbia Mayor Steve Benjamin: Pray that @POTUS will change course. Our Muslim citizens contribute greatly. This is wrong.

Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti: Los Angeles will always be a place of refuge for people of every nationality and faith. We will look back on this moment and know that we stood up, spoke out, and lived up to our values. Thousands of Angelenos are at LAX right now, doing just that. We are mustering every possible resource as a city to help people through a very difficult, confusing, and painful time. We will lead with strength, conviction, compassion, and open arms. We are making a difference, and will keep lifting people up — as long as we think less about who’s the most powerful, and devote our time and energy to helping the most vulnerable.

Providence Mayor Jorge Elorza: Over 380 years ago Roger Williams was exiled & settled in #PVD, a refuge for religious minorities. We stand by that legacy & founding values

Seattle Mayor Ed Murray: .@POTUS Trump: You will not win with these shameful orders. They are wrong and will be defeated in court. #UnitedWeStand #NoBanNoWall

New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio: President Trump’s executive order on immigration runs contrary to the values of our city, and the values of the United States.

Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel: “One hundred years ago, the people of Chicago opened their hearts and their homes to my grandfather when he immigrated to this great city, fleeing the pogroms of Eastern Europe in search of freedom and opportunity. In that spirit, in the coming days my family and I will host DREAMers attending Chicago Public Schools and Chicago City Colleges for a meal, a conversation, and a recognition and celebration of all that unites us, rather than what divides us. I am asking every interested resident of the City of Chicago to join us by hosting a similar meal in your own homes and at restaurants in your own neighborhoods, or by sharing welcoming words through a phone call or email. At a moment of unease and vulnerability for so many, let’s come together as a city and put action behind our words and the values we hold dear as a welcoming city. Lets show the world that the City of Big Shoulders is also a city of big hearts.”

Louisville Mayor Greg Fischer: Hosting rally for American Values on 1/30

Dallas Mayor Mike Rawlings: From the bottom of my heart, I apologize to those detained this weekend and their families. All 9 ppl detained yesterday now released.

Fort Worth Mayor Betsy Price: In an effort to address the nation’s concerns regarding border security, the most recent rollout of the executive order regarding illegal immigration has caused deep alarm for many whose families are affected by the visa/refugee process. I stand with those who desire to see that our nation can protect the safety of its citizens while remaining as a refuge for those who are persecuted and seeking a better life through legal immigration.

Additionally, I will work with our congressional delegation and have been in touch with the Dallas Fort Worth International Airport staff on our response to those affected immediately and also any long-term implications for our city. My heart hurts for the families who are impacted by this sudden change. As a community, Fort Worth is committed to being compassionate in our approach to those fleeing troubled parts of the world and will continue to tangibly partner with our refugee resettlement agencies across the city that meet those needs.

Minneapolis Mayor Betsy Hodges: I remember the Holocaust, the lessons of it, & I know you do, too. That’s why we know to resist Trump & his agenda with all we’ve got. It’s why we have the proactive, progressive, pro-human agenda that we do. It’s why we get to love Trump’s supporters even as we fight his policy; the fate of forgetting anyone else’s humanity is we lose our own. But fight Trump’s policies we must, because down his road lies perdition.

Austin Mayor Steve Adler: The world can completely lose its mind and we’re still going to be Austin, Texas

Houston Mayor Sylvester Turner: There is a lot of anxiety in our City re the Admin’s policy on immigration. I would urge the Admin to rethink its EO.

Philadelphia Mayor Jim Kenney: Down at the airport, thinking about what this flag stands for.  Refugees are welcome here.

Phoenix Mayor Greg Stanton: Trump’s executive order re: Muslim refugees goes against American values & make us less safe. Phx welcomes those fleeing violence & tyranny.

San Francisco Mayor Ed Lee: As a son of Chinese immigrants, I’m saddened by the administration’s actions to discriminate against our Muslim community. #MuslimBan #SFO

Boston Mayor Marty Walsh: Can you hear us Washington?! We’re standing strong in Boston to support & protect ALL of our people & we will not back down. #NoBanNoWall

Atlanta Mayor Kasim Reed: At @ATLairport right now. All eleven individuals who were detained at Hartsfield-Jackson airport have been cleared & released.

Kansas City (MO) Mayor Sly James: “Our police department has no desire and no interest in enforcing immigration laws.”

“That’s the federal government’s part, not ours. They won’t do it. They haven’t done it, and they probably won’t do it unless they are absolutely forced to do it. But we believe if the feds want people to do something, they need to get their tails down and get it done. We’re not going to help them.”

“Why do we want to go in and disrupt neighborhoods, disrupt families where people are living peacefully? People who break the law should be handled. People who are not breaking the law should be left alone.”

Newton Mayor Setti Warren: Proud to be marching in Copley Square with neighbors and friends to say this #MuslimBan is illegal and immoral. #LoveTrumpsHate

Charlotte Mayor Jennifer Roberts: Charlotte will continue to be a welcoming and inclusive city of diverse talents and residents #MayorsStand4All @Charlotte_Intl

West Sacramento Mayor Chris Cabaldon: I’m changing the details in order to protect the security of West Sacramentans who are justifiably fearful of being targeted by their own government, but if you’re struggling to understand why President Trump’s executive order is a very, very local issue, try to imagine:

If your Little League coach disappeared from town without explanation, because he took a spontaneous bro trip to Puerto Vallarta with buddies and now he’s banned from coming home even though he legally immigrated here 10 years ago from Iraq after the war.

If your daughter’s best friend isn’t in their 2nd grade class tomorrow because her parents were at their cousin’s wedding in London and can’t come home and now she’s somehow on her own for at least 90 days. Your daughter’s best friend is a citizen and her parents are legal permanent residents who’ve been clearing all the hurdles to full citizenship.

If the quiet old man you and your son say hello to every morning at the Southport Starbucks, who’d told you how he’d been saving for a decade to finally see his brother back in Iran for the first time since they separated while trying to defend the US Embassy in 1979, is now missing with nowhere to go because he’s been banned from coming home to the US because he was born in Iran and banned from Iran because he’s an American.

This order violates both our Constitution and every American value we cherish. As an immediate step, we are connecting local residents who are affected to the team of attorneys who are fighting in the courts (if you are affected, please contact me). We cannot allow Americans to simply be ripped out of the fabric of our community as though they never existed in furtherance of an attack on an entire religion. We cannot accept being the Neighbors of the Disappeared.

South Bend Mayor Pete Buttigeg: Republicans of conscience are going to have to choose: follow your unpopular and unhinged president off the cliff, or put values first.

 

Mayors will be sharing their actions and thoughts using the hashtag #MayorsStand4All. 

About the Author:

Sara Durr is a member of our communications team at the Conference. She can be contacted by phone at 202-215-1811 or via email at sara@durrcommunications.com.