Democratic Mayors Beg Obama to Protect Illegal Immigrants Before He Leaves Office

Cortney O'Brien
|
Posted: Jan 02, 2017 9:30 AM
Democratic Mayors Beg Obama to Protect Illegal Immigrants Before He Leaves Office

A group of liberal mayors of sanctuary cities are hoping to find some empathy from President Obama in their aim to protect the illegal immigrants they're harboring.

New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio, Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti and Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel are just a few of the 30 city and county leaders who wrote a letter to the president requesting he delay deportation for those living in "immigrant communities." In particular, they are asking him to protect Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) recipients and undocumented immigrants with 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 of 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 continues 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 re-registrations.

Emanuel and De Blasio insisted last month that they would defend illegal immigrants in their city from President-elect Donald Trump's deportation plans. Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel made his announcement with much fanfare, telling the undocumented in his city that they are "safe" from the authorities.

Trump plans to not only build a wall along the U.S.-Mexico border, but he intends to deport at least 2 to 3 million illegal immigrants with criminal records as soon as he takes office - whether they're in a sanctuary city or not.