Big City Mayors Line Up Behind Obama’s Immigration Order

New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio

New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio Demetrius Freeman / Mayoral Photography Office

Featured eBooks

Disaster Recovery and Resilience
Innovations in Transit and Transportation
Cyber Threats: Preparing States and Localities
 

Connecting state and local government leaders

New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio will host at least 20 U.S. mayors at an immigration summit in December.

Mayors in some of the nation’s largest cities are voicing their support for President Obama’s executive order that will give protections to some undocumented immigrants and are planning to meet in New York City next month to discuss ways their cities can get in line with the president’s planned federal action and help their immigrant residents.

“This summit will offer a unique opportunity for mayors of many of our nation’s progressive cities to restate our leadership and responsibility on this decisive issue and to come out with an unbeatable master plan that truly prepares our localities for swift implementation of changes and also advocates for further reforms from the municipal level all the way up to Washington,” New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio, who is hosting the Dec. 8 summit at Gracie Mansion, said in a statement released Thursday by his office.

More than 20 mayors are scheduled to attend, including Seattle’s Ed Murray, San Francisco’s Ed Lee and Atlanta’s Kasim Reed.

“San Francisco is already a model for the nation in welcoming immigrants and empowering new citizens, but we must do more,” Lee said in de Blasio’s announcement. “As the son of immigrant parents, I want others to know, San Francisco will continue its leadership on this issue and will remain a place that welcomes all residents, regardless of where or how they arrived.”

Murray joined immigration reform advocates at a rally outside the Federal Building in Seattle on Thursday, according to the Seattle Post-Intelligencer, and predicted that Obama’s executive action would generate “a short-term firestorm” but would be be accepted in the long run. He also didn’t mince words for Republicans opposing the president’s actions.

“We’ve always seen a nativist streak in the Republican Party,” Murray said, according to Post-Intelligencer. "It is part of the Republicans’ roots. It has never worked for them as a political strategy. It won’t work now. Opposition will fade with time. It will work for the President’s benefit.”

In Los Angeles, Mayor Eric Garcetti said Thursday that the Mayor’s Office of Immigrant Affairs is ready to assist immigrants in the nation’s second-largest city navigate the changes that will come from the president’s executive order.

"Common sense immigration reforms will strengthen and stabilize L.A. families and will add millions to our economy," Garcetti said, according to City News Service.

Not all mayors are supportive of the president’s action. Scott Getzschman, the mayor of Fremont, Nebraska, said it was a “band-aid approach to immigration reform” in an interview with WBUR’s “Here & Now” on Wednesday. “And truly I don’t feel it’s a solution to the problem.”