Mayors from across the country urged the incoming Trump administration on Wednesday to take a bipartisan approach to immigration, calling for comprehensive reform and keeping programs that protect the temporary status of Dreamers and the families of those serving in the armed forces.
The mayors made their appeal in an emergency resolution endorsed by the executive committee of the U.S. Conference of Mayors, which is meeting this week in the nation’s capital ahead of President-elect Trump's inauguration.
“We have too many people who live in fear … fear that there will be a knock on their door and that their American Dream will come to a halt,” said Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti. “We demand something that is better and together we say that there is a pathway forward.”
Noting the economic benefits that immigrants bring, and that Dreamers have experienced since they have been able to work, Garcetti said: "If we fail this, we fail our economy, we fail our nation. We don't just fail these Dreamers and these immigrants."
Trump has said since his election that he will deport millions of people who are not in the U.S. legally, but recently softened his stance on Dreamers -- young undocumented immigrants brought to the U.S. as children. About 740,000 of them signed up for one of President Obama’s signature policies, Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA), which has temporarily protected them from deportation and has allowed them to work in this country legally.
The coalition of mayors stressed the bipartisan nature of their group and said it could serve as an example for Congress and the Trump administration.
“What we’re asking for is really very simple: In a bipartisan way -- because this really isn’t a partisan issue -- we are asking for Congress … to fix a broken immigration system that we have to deal with on a day in and day out basis," said Anaheim Mayor Tom Tait, a Republican.