In Letter Signed by 30 Mayors, Miner Urges the President to Protect DACA Recipients and Immigrants Who Cannot Return to their Country of Origin Due To Safety Concerns
Miner: Will Always Do Our Part In Ensuring New Americans Feel Welcome In Our Cities And Have The Support Needed to Be Successful
SYRACUSE, N.Y. – Mayor Stephanie A. Miner today signed a letter along with 29 other Mayors and local leaders from across the country urging President Barack Obama to take action to protect recipients of the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program and immigrants who are unable to return to their countries of origin due to safety concerns, including armed conflict and natural disasters. The letter also thanks President Obama for taking steps to end the National Security Entry-Exit Registration System (NSEERS) program, which enables the creation of “special registrations” for immigrants.
“Cities are committed to doing the right thing for our immigrant and refugee populations. These individuals bring vibrancy to our neighborhoods and the entrepreneurs fueling economic growth. They are involved parents in our schools and active members of our communities. We will always do our part in ensuring they feel welcome in our cities and have the support needed to be successful, contributing New Americans,” said Syracuse Mayor Stephanie A. Miner.
The letter was drafted by the Cities for Action coalition, a coalition of over 100 Mayors and local leaders from across the country who advocate for immigration reform on the federal level and work within their communities to provide a safe, welcoming environment for New Americans.
In the letter, the mayors urge the President to support DACA recipients, those certain individuals who came to the United States as children who have been shielded from deportation by the Department of Homeland Security. Additionally, they asked the President give protections to individuals for whom returning to their countries of origin would present a significant risk to their personal safety, either due to natural disaster or armed conflict. In October, the coalition sent a letter on behalf of Haitian migrants, urging the Departments of State and Homeland Security to halt deportations in the aftermath of Hurricane Matthew.
Earlier this week, President Obama announced his administration would end the inactive NSEERS program, which would have allowed the Department of Homeland Security to maintain registries of immigrants who come from certain countries.
Mayor Miner has long been an advocate of immigration reform and supporting New Americans in the Syracuse community. As part of Cities for Action, she signed onto a letter to the President saying Syracuse would welcome refugees in need from Syria. She has also actively urged Congress to undertake comprehensive immigration reform.
The coalitions’ full letter appears below:
Dear President Obama:
As mayors and county executives in the Cities for Action coalition, we write to thank you for your leadership on behalf of immigrant families and urge you to take action to ensure continued support for vulnerable immigrants in our communities before you leave office.
Cities for Action is a national coalition of over 100 mayors and county executives that advocate for inclusive local policies and national immigration reform. As local government leaders throughout the country, we know that immigrants make our communities stronger economically, culturally, and socially. For this reason, we have enthusiastically embraced the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program, expressed repeated support for and defense of your 2014 executive actions on immigration, and worked closely with your administration to promote citizenship and the economic, social, and civic integration of immigrants.
On behalf of the millions of our immigrant residents and their families, we thank you for the steps your administration has taken to support vulnerable immigrant populations, from bright young people who may only know life in this country, to immigrants who cannot return to their home countries because of conflict or natural disaster, as well as those who look to the U.S. to lead on human rights and non-discrimination. These actions reflect the ideals of inclusion and refuge that our country is founded on.
We also thank you for listening to concerns from local leaders, among other voices, and taking steps this week to end the failed National Security Entry-Exit Registration System (NSEERS) program. This “special registration” program was discriminatory and created great fear and turmoil within our communities, particularly among Muslim immigrants, while not providing any increase in security. A revival of the program would only serve to heighten tensions and increase the risk of bias-based crimes at a time when hate speech and hate crimes are on the rise. For these reasons, we commend your Administration for this move.
We urge that you continue your support for immigrant communities in the last few weeks of your presidency. Specifically, we suggest that your administration (1) continue support for Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) recipients, and (2) continue support for immigrants who have Temporary Protected Status (TPS).
First, we encourage you to undertake steps to support the over 740,000 DACA recipients in the U.S. DACA has tremendously benefitted our communities by helping our residents thrive and contribute in myriad ways. For this reason, we are committed to advocating for the continuation of DACA in the next administration and for legislative relief for Dreamers in Congress. In the meantime, we call upon your administration to accept early renewal applications for current DACA holders to extend temporary protections for them. In addition, we urge USCIS to commit to speedy processing of initial and renewal applications and urge your administration to implement additional privacy protections for DACA holders to reassure recipients that they will not be punished as a result of coming out the shadows.
Second, we urge you to extend protections for immigrants who cannot return safely to their countries of origin because of extraordinary conditions, including natural disasters or armed conflict. Cities for Action has applauded the steps that your administration has taken to grant temporary relief to these individuals. We now ask that your administration continue this urgent form of humanitarian protection by reviewing the current TPS designations and extending such designations or making re-designations or new designations as appropriate before the end of your term. In particular, we urge your administration to take steps to protect immigrants from countries that recently experienced extraordinary conditions that have made return unsafe, including Haiti and Ecuador. We also ask that USCIS commit to swift processing for TPS applications and renewals.
Thank you again for the many positive actions you have undertaken as President on behalf of immigrants in our communities, and we hope that you will consider these recommendations.
Ed Pawlowski, Mayor of Allentown, PA
Steve Adler, Mayor of Austin, TX
Catherine Pugh, Mayor of Baltimore, MD
William Bell, Mayor of Birmingham, AL
Marty Walsh, Mayor of Boston, MA
Lydia Lavelle, Mayor of Carrboro, NC
Albert Robles, Mayor of Carson, CA
Pam Hemminger, Mayor of Chapel Hill, NC
Rahm Emanuel, Mayor of Chicago, IL
Michael Hancock, Mayor of Denver, CO
Roy D. Buol, Mayor of Dubuque, IA
Svante Myrick, Mayor of Ithaca, NY
Madeline Rogero, Mayor of Knoxville, TN
Eric Garcetti, Mayor of Los Angeles, CA
Paul Soglin, Mayor of Madison, WI
Manuel Cantu, Mayor of McFarland, CA
Ike Leggett, Executive of Montgomery County, MD
Yxstian Gutierrez, Mayor of Moreno Valley, CA
Toni Harp, Mayor of New Haven, CT
Noam Bramson, Mayor of New Rochelle, NY
Bill de Blasio, Mayor of New York City, NY
Jim Kenney, Mayor of Philadelphia, PA
Liz Lempert, Mayor of Princeton, NJ
Jorge Elorza, Mayor of Providence, RI
John Dickert, Mayor of Racine, WI
Tom Butt, Mayor of Richmond, CA
Kevin Johnson, Mayor of Sacramento, CA
Ed Lee, Mayor of San Francisco, CA
Ed Murray, Mayor of Seattle, WA
Francis Slay, Mayor of St. Louis, MO
Stephanie Miner, Mayor of Syracuse, NY