National League of Cities Says President Takes Bold Steps on Immigration
Austin, TX - As 3,000 city officials gathered in Austin, Texas, for the National League of Cities (NLC) annual meeting, it remained clear that comprehensive immigration reform is overdue. NLC welcomes the president's use of executive authority to take steps to fix our country's immigration system.
For years NLC has called for federal action to fix the nation's broken immigration system. After interminable delays stretching over two administrations, we applaud the president taking action to address the problem.
"The president is to be commended for his strong leadership today," said Mayor Chris Coleman, Saint Paul, Minn., and current President of the National League of Cities. He continued, "The use of executive authority in this manner can go a long way towards providing a fully workable solution to this crisis."
But executive action is not enough. The nation's cities and towns call on Congress and the Administration to take further steps to change the laws to fix the system.
"Cities need federal policy makers working together to go even further than the president's action today," said Mayor Ralph Becker, Salt Lake City and the incoming president of the National League of Cities. He continued, "Without a more comprehensive approach that addresses issues like providing resources to integrate immigrant families into our cities, the problems associated with our current immigration system will continue."
President Obama's action today contains a number of items that are of significance to cities:
- Enhancing security efforts at the border;
- Creating strategies to ensure families remain together;
- Requiring undocumented immigrants to undergo background checks and pay taxes;
- Freeing local governments of responsibility for housing felon.
As we move forward, any reform of the nation's immigration system must:
- Create a pathway to earned citizenship;
- Modernize the legal immigration system to attract skilled workers; and
- Provide resources for immigrant integration.
Today's action is only a beginning, and it is now up to Congress to work with the president to take the next steps to ensure our immigration system is reformed.
About the National League of Cities
The National League of Cities (NLC) is dedicated to helping city leaders build better communities. NLC is a resource and advocate for 19,000 cities, towns and villages, representing more than 218 million Americans.