- Views & Opinions
Madison Mayor Paul Soglin this week announced that the city joined 73 cities and counties in filing a friend-of-the-court brief in the Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals urging immediate implementation of President Barack Obama’s executive actions on immigration.
The brief, coordinated through the Cities United for Immigration Action coalition, demonstrates robust support from the country’s largest cities — as well as its suburbs and rural areas — for the president’s reforms. Signers said the reforms will provide temporary relief from deportation to immigrants with longstanding ties to the United States 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.
“I proudly stand with my fellow mayors throughout the country in support of President Obama’s executive actions on immigration that promote family stability, economic growth and community cohesiveness,” Soglin said in a news release. “Every president since President Eisenhower has used executive authority to provide temporary immigration relief and in fact, there have been 37 instances of presidents using executive authority since 1956. That action has come under both Republican and Democratic administrations so this is not, and should not be, a partisan issue. This is a human rights issue.”
As part of Cities United for Immigration Action, more than 70 cities and counties, the National League of Cities and the U.S. Conference of Mayors argue 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 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 needed changes to the federal government’s immigration policies.
The brief argues 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.
In addition, the brief argues that delay in implementation of the president’s executive action has significant costs for local economies and immigrant families. The delay in implementation has forced mixed-status families — a number which is estimated to be in the millions — to continue to live in ongoing fear of deportation and separation, a situation that has profound emotional, educational and health impacts on children.