As part of Cities United for Immigration Action, Mayor Kevin McKeown announced Monday that Santa Monica will join 73 cities and counties to file a new friend-of-the-court brief in the Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals in the Texas vs. United States lawsuit, urging immediate implementation of President Obama’s executive actions on immigration.
The brief demonstrates robust support from the country’s largest cities – as well as its suburbs and rural areas – for the President’s reforms, which will provide temporary relief from deportation to immigrants with longstanding ties to the U.S. who pass a background check and meet other criteria.
The cities and counties – representing 43 million people across the country – argue that the district court judge who temporarily blocked implementation of the programs failed to consider the significant harms to America’s local governments caused by this delay.
Monday’s brief more than doubles the number of local governments that had previously voiced opposition to the lawsuit brought by states seeking to block President Obama’s immigration reform efforts.
“Santa Monica knows, as does our President, that we are a nation of hard-working immigrants who bring cultural richness,” McKeown said. “For too long, national policies have disparaged those contributions and broken up immigrant families. Santa Monica has acknowledged the struggles against discrimination and deportation in the past, and we proudly stand with other cities in supporting President Obama’s executive action and urge the court to allow no further delay on needed reform.”
As part of Cities United for Immigration Action, New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio and Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti led the effort to organize more than 70 cities and counties, the National League of Cities, and the U.S. Conference of Mayors in arguing that the national public interest is served clearly and overwhelmingly by implementing immigration relief by executive action without delay.
The brief also argues that the District Court judge’s decision to block executive action with a preliminary injunction is bad for the economy, hurts families, threatens law enforcement priorities, and will stall desperately needed changes to the federal government’s immigration policies.
The brief demonstrates to the Court that executive action will benefit cities and counties by providing work authorization to millions, increasing local tax revenue, stimulating local economies, facilitating the civic engagement of immigrants, keeping families together, and improving public safety by strengthening our neighborhoods and communities.