Quick Action to Achieve Comprehensive Immigration Reform

Adopted at the 77th Winter Meeting in 2009

  • WHEREAS, for many years the U.S. Conference of Mayors has recognized the economic, social and cultural contributions immigrants make to our communities; and

    WHEREAS, at the same time, for too many years, the absence of a sensible, effective immigration policy in the U.S. has translated into enormous human and financial costs; and

    WHEREAS, many of those costs are being borne by our cities, in particular our police departments, whose resources are being strained as they are forced to step up immigration efforts and respond to crimes directly connected to illegal immigration - crimes which might have been avoided if the federal government were fulfilling its obligations relating to immigration; and

    WHEREAS, in some of our cities those costs have been even greater, due to the loss of police officers killed in the line of duty responding to crimes perpetrated by illegal immigrants; and

    WHEREAS, year after year the Conference of Mayors has added its voice to the growing national appeal for comprehensive immigration reform, and year after year it has been disappointed by Washington's failure to come to grips with the problem; and

    WHEREAS, with the new Congress and Administration there is a real opportunity to achieve meaningful, comprehensive immigration reform, and the Conference of Mayors must take immediate and decisive action to take advantage of this opportunity,

    NOW, THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED, that the U.S. Conference of Mayors calls for quick passage of comprehensive immigration reform legislation based on five key principles, all of which are embodied in policy previously adopted by the organization;

    ·Increased border security and enforcement;

    ·the protection of human and civil rights of both citizens and non-citizens being detained;

    ·More support for city and state governments which are disproportionately shouldering the costs of the current broken immigration system;

    ·the use of new technologies to match up foreign workers with jobs in this country that are going unfilled (guest worker program);

    ·the elimination of current obstacles to citizenship that have resulted in 10-12 million undocumented residents living in the shadows; and

    Be it further resolved, that as soon as possible the Conference of Mayors, through its Task Force on Comprehensive Immigration Reform, present these principles to Congress and the new Administration and establish a working relationship with them to quickly develop and enact legislation embodying these principles; and

    Be it further resolved, that members of the Comprehensive Immigration Task Force, as well as other members of the Conference of Mayors, continue to advocate for other immigration-related policy contained in resolutions previously adopted by the organization.

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