Mayors from Chapel Hill and Carrboro are among more than 100 mayors and county officials from across the country encouraging President Donald Trump to support the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program.
DACA, which was initiated by President Barack Obama, celebrated its five-year anniversary this week.
The program allows for children who have been residing in the United States illegally to come forward without the threat of deportation for a period to allow them to work toward residential permits.
“It was important and essential that I sign this letter on behalf of the Town of Carrboro. ‘Dreamers’ know the United States as home and more importantly, I want them to know Carrboro is their home. As they work to provide their families and pursue their dreams, Carrboro is committed to providing a safe and welcoming environment,” Carrboro Mayor Lydia Lavelle said in a release.
Whether these ‘Dreamers’ should be allowed to stay in the United States has been at a major topic of the immigration debate under Trump’s administration.
This letter signed by Lavelle and Chapel Hill Mayor Pam Hemminger was delivered to Trump on August 14, according to a release. It follows another letter to United States Attorney General Jeff Sessions from Attorneys General from 10 states and one governor calling for the end to the program.
Below is the full letter sent to Trump from Cities for Action:
Dear Mr. President:
As mayors and county executives in the Cities for Action coalition, we write to urge you to maintain your past support for the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program and to engage with Congress on bipartisan efforts to enact the DREAM Act. In the immediate term, we urge you to commit to continue the DACA program until a legislative solution is achieved.
Cities for Action is a national coalition of over 150 mayors and county executives, representing over 55 million residents, that advocates for programs and policies that promote immigrant inclusion to create stronger and safer cities. As local government leaders throughout the country, we know that immigrants make our communities stronger economically, culturally, and socially. For these reasons, we strongly support the DACA program.
Localities have long supported federal immigration measures that advance immigrant integration, because municipalities are where the needs of our nation’s immigrants are felt most keenly. Local governments took a frontline implementation role with the 2012 DACA directive by investing money in outreach and legal services, working with school districts to create new databases to facilitate record requests, and improving access to public documents. Some of these initiatives include:
- The City of Boston partnered with community organizations to help eligible people apply for DACA, explore other forms of immigration relief, and avoid scams.
- In Highland Park, the Mayor’s Office organized legal clinics to assist eligible youth with DACA applications.
- The City of Long Beach has worked with local schools and colleges to support DACA students.
- Los Angeles hosts “Know Your Rights” workshops across the city to help DACA recipients and their families learn about their rights. The City also runs the L.A. College Promise, which provides one year of free enrollment to graduating L.A. seniors, including DACA beneficiaries.
- New York City launched the first-ever advertising campaign geared towards immigrants in City history: a DACA awareness campaign that reached over 480,000 individuals. The City also launched a public health education campaign to facilitate enrollment among potential DACA applicants
- The City of San Francisco has invested to provide free legal services and community outreach and education for DACA. The City has also partnered with community organizations to provide DACA application fee assistance. In addition, the City created the DreamSF Fellows Program, which matches DACA-approved college students with internships at immigrant-serving community organizations.
- The County of Santa Clara has invested in DACA outreach and education and established the New Americans Fellowship program, providing DACA beneficiaries with paid internships with the County and nonprofits.
- City and county governments across the country have provided DACA resources and links to community events to support eligible immigrants in their localities.
Now a small number of states are pressuring your Administration to take away DACA from nearly 800,000 young people who have come forward, passed background checks, and have made the most of their opportunity to live and work in America lawfully. This is in no one’s best interest. These young people reflect who we are as a coalition: cities with vibrant immigrant communities working toward the American dream in the ultimate nation of immigrants. DACA recipients are students, employees, and family members. They contribute to our country with their taxes, their innovative ideas, and the indelible positive impact they leave on our communities. Protecting the relief afforded to this population, and formalizing it legislatively will have immense social and economic benefits to our local governments. Therefore, allowing these young people to remain in the country with DACA or permanently through a legislative solution—a position supported by the vast majority of American voters across the political spectrum—would only further reveal the vast potential of these young people.
We also know in empirical terms the effects DACA has on our cities and states, and what we would lose if DACA were to be taken away:
- 1.3 million young undocumented immigrants enrolled or immediately eligible for DACA contribute an estimated $2 billion a year in state and local taxes. This includes personal income, property, and sales and excise taxes.
- DACA-eligible individuals pay on average 8.9 percent of their income in state and local taxes.
We care about all of our residents, including those with DACA and their families. We want to make sure that our residents can continue living without the fear of being uprooted from their homes: our cities and counties.
You have singular power and influence to shape this moment in American history, and “show great heart”—as well as pragmatism and economic sense—in your decision about how to protect our young, undocumented immigrants who have relied on the U.S. government’s word for security and stability. We call on you to stand with these young people, and stand for the best of what America represents.
Kathy Sheehan, Mayor of Albany, NY
Allison Silberberg, Mayor of Alexandria, VA
Ed Pawlowski, Mayor of Allentown, PA
Ethan Berkowitz, Mayor of the Municipality of Anchorage, AK
Kasim Reed, Mayor of Atlanta, GA
Stephen D. Hogan, Mayor of Aurora, CO
Steve Adler, Mayor of Austin, TX
Catherine E. Pugh, Mayor of Baltimore City, MD
Kevin Kamenetz, County Executive of Baltimore County, MD
Joseph Baldacci, Mayor of Bangor, ME
William A. Bell, Mayor of Birmingham, AL
Martin J. Walsh, Mayor of Boston, MA
Suzanne Jones, Mayor of the City of Boulder, CO
Antonio Martinez, Mayor of Brownsville, TX
Byron W. Brown, Mayor of Buffalo, NY
Louis A. DePasquale, City Manager of Cambridge, MA
Lydia E. Lavelle, Mayor of the Town of Carrboro, NC
James Diossa, Mayor of Central Falls, RI
Pam Hemminger, Mayor of Chapel Hill, NC
Andy Berke, Mayor of Chattanooga, TN
Thomas G. Ambrosino, City Manager of Chelsea, MA
Rahm Emanuel, Mayor of Chicago, IL
Mary Casillas Salas, Mayor of Chula Vista, CA
Andrew J. Ginther, Mayor of Columbus, OH
Biff Traber, Mayor of Corvallis, OR
Michael S. Rawlings, Mayor of Dallas, TX
Clay Lewis Jenkins, County Judge of Dallas County, TX
Nan Whaley, Mayor of Dayton, OH
Michael B. Hancock, Mayor of Denver, CO
Rick Sowers, Mayor of Dodge City, KS
Riley H Rogers, Mayor of Dolton, IL
Mark S. Meadows, Mayor of East Lansing, MI
Veronica Escobar, County Judge of El Paso County, TX
Acquanetta Warren, Mayor of Fontana, CA
Karen Freeman-Wilson, Mayor of Gary, IN
Domenick Stampone, Mayor of Haledon Borough, NJ
Luke Bronin, Mayor of Hartford, CT
Nancy Rotering, Mayor of Highland Park, IL
Alex Morse, Mayor of Holyoke, MA
Sylvester Turner, Mayor of Houston, TX
Stephen T. Williams, Mayor of Huntington, WV
Chokwe A. Lumumba, Mayor of Jackson, MI
Steven M. Fulop, Mayor of Jersey City, NJ
Mark Holland, Mayor of Kansas City, KS
Sly James, Mayor of Kansas City, MO
Madeline Rogero, Mayor of Knoxville, TN
Virg Bernero, Mayor of Lansing, MI
Mark Stodola, Mayor of Little Rock, AR
Robert Garcia, Mayor of Long Beach, CA
Eric Garcetti, Mayor of Los Angeles, CA
Paul R. Soglin, Mayor of Madison, WI
Judy Arnold, President of Marin County Board of Supervisors, CA
John Giles, Mayor of Mesa, AZ
Daniel T. Drew, Mayor of Middletown, CT
Tom Barrett, Mayor of Milwaukee, WI
Peggy A. West, County Supervisor of Milwaukee County, WI
Wayne M. Messam, Mayor of Miramar, FL
Ike Leggett, County Executive of Montgomery County, MD
Megan Barry, Mayor of Nashville, TN
Toni N. Harp, Mayor of New Haven, CT
Noam Bramson, Mayor of New Rochelle, NY
Bill de Blasio, Mayor of New York City, NY
Alan L. Nagy, Mayor of Newark, CA
Setti Warren, Mayor of Newton, MA
Harry W. Rilling, Mayor of Norwalk, CT
Libby Schaaf, Mayor of Oakland, CA
Sue Higgins, Mayor of Oakley, CA
Buddy Dyer, Mayor of Orlando, FL
Jose “Joey” Torres, Mayor of Paterson, NJ
Jim Kenney, Mayor of Philadelphia, PA
Greg Stanton, Mayor of Phoenix, AZ
William Peduto, Mayor of Pittsburgh, PA
Adrian O. Mapp, Mayor of Plainfield, NJ
Liz Lempert, Mayor of Princeton, NJ
Jorge Elorza, Mayor of Providence, RI
Hillary Schieve, Mayor of Reno, NV
Tom Butt, Mayor of Richmond, CA
Lovely Warren, Mayor of Rochester, NY
Darrell Steinberg, Mayor of Sacramento, CA
Dave Cortese, Board of Supervisors President of Santa Clara County, CA
Chris Coleman, Mayor of Saint Paul, MN
Jackie Biskupski, Mayor of Salt Lake City, UT
Ron Nirenberg, Mayor of San Antonio, TX
Sylvia Ballin, Mayor of San Fernando, CA
Edwin M. Lee, Mayor of City and County of San Francisco, CA
Sam Liccardo, Mayor of San Jose, CA
Pauline Russo Cutter, Mayor of San Leandro, CA
Javier M. Gonzales, Mayor of Santa Fe, NM
Ted Winterer, Mayor of Santa Monica, CA
Edward B. Murray, Mayor of Seattle, WA
George Van Dusen, Mayor of Skokie, IL
Joseph A. Curtatone, Mayor of Somerville, MA
Pete Buttigieg, Mayor of South Bend, IN
Lyda Krewson, Mayor of St. Louis, MO
Elizabeth A. Goreham, Mayor of State College Borough, PA
Stephanie A. Miner, Mayor of Syracuse, NY
Marilyn Strickland, Mayor of Tacoma, WA
Andrew Gillum, Mayor of Tallahassee, FL
Sarah Eckhardt, County Judge of Travis County, TX
Eric E. Jackson, Mayor of Trenton/Mercer County, NJ
Jonathan Rothschild, Mayor of Tucson, AZ
Brian P. Stack, Mayor of Union City, NJ
Richard G. Carlston, Mayor of Walnut Creek, CA
Muriel Bowser, Mayor of Washington, DC
John Heilman, Mayor of West Hollywood, CA
Don Saylor, County Supervisor of Yolo County, CA
Jim Provenza, County Supervisor of Yolo County, CA
Mike Spano, Mayor of the City of Yonkers, NY