LOS ANGELES (CNS) – Led by Mayor Eric Garcetti and his New York City counterpart, Bill de Blasio, a coalition of 73 cities and counties have announced the filing of a brief in a Texas federal court in support of President Barack Obama’s executive orders on immigration, which a judge has placed on hold.
“America’s cities need common-sense immigration reforms that will keep families intact and the country’s economic prosperity on the rise,” Garcetti said. “This is a nonpartisan issue that should be focused on people and not politics.”
Garcetti and de Blasio organized Cities United for Immigration Action, gathering the support of cities and counties across the country, along with the National League of Cities and U.S. Conference of Mayors, in support of Obama’s immigration measures.
The executive actions — the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals and Deferred Action for Parents of American and Lawful Permanent Residents – would defer deportation for an estimated 4 million people, including about 500,000 people living in Los Angeles County.
Obama announced the executive orders in November, but one month later, the state of Texas filed a lawsuit challenging the president’s authority. The day before the executive actions were set to take effect in January, a federal judge in Texas issued an injunction halting the programs.
Republicans have vowed to fight the orders. House Speaker John Boehner, R-Ohio, has said the action exceeded Obama’s constitutional authority and ruined any chance of Congress acting on immigration legislation. Los Angeles County Supervisor Mike Antonovich called the actions “a tax-supported welfare program that rewards those who have broken the law.”
The “friend-of-the-court” brief filed by Cities United for Immigration Action argues that blocking the implementation of the orders causes significant harm to local governments, is bad for families, threatens law enforcement priorities and stalls “desperately needed changes” to federal immigration policy, according to the group.
“Cities are where immigrants live, and cities are where the president’s executive action will be successfully implemented,” de Blasio said. “Our cities are united, and we will fight for the immigration reform this nation needs and deserves — whether in the courtroom, in Congress or in our communities.”