National League of Cities Responds to House Immigration Proposals

U.S. Capitol
U.S. Capitol

WASHINGTON — June 21, 2018 — With the U.S. House of Representatives poised to vote today on two pieces of legislation that would address immigration reform, including border security and the practice of separating families at the U.S. border, the National League of Cities (NLC) calls on federal agencies to enforce our nation’s immigration laws in a humane way that’s consistent with who we are as a country and simultaneously calls on Congress to pass comprehensive immigration reform that addresses reform in a substantive way. The following statement may be attributed to NLC President Mark Stodola, mayor of Little Rock, Arkansas:

“NLC strongly opposes H.R. 4760, the Securing America’s Future Act of 2018, and has strong objections to provisions of the Border Security and Immigration Reform Act of 2018. The time is now to make meaningful change in the lives of hardworking immigrants who seek to make better lives for themselves in our nation’s cities. Neither of these bills achieve a comprehensive solution.

City leaders also know that protecting children from severe trauma such as separation from or loss of a parent early in life is essential to support their full and healthy development. These adverse experiences at early ages can damage critical brain development, and can increase the risk of long-term health and mental health problems for children of all ages. We encourage Congress to take this impact into consideration as they debate this important issue.

“America’s city leaders have long called for comprehensive immigration reform that strengthens both enforcement of current immigration laws and worksite enforcement, provides increased capacity for foreign nationals to obtain legal authorization for temporary visas or legal permanent residency and provides a legislative solution for Dreamers.”

Securing America’s Future Act of 2018 (H.R. 4760)

  • Division B Title II would conscript local government personnel to enforce federal immigration laws by imposing harmful sanctions on local governments that have in affect a statute, ordinance, policy or practice that prohibits or restricts compliance when a detainer request or administrative warrant is issued by the Department of Homeland Security. Instead of trying to punish cities, Congress should ensure that the Department of Homeland Security’s detainer requests and administrative warrants comply with the U.S. Constitution’s Fourth and Tenth Amendments.
  • Creates a legal jeopardy for local governments by allowing victims to sue when a crime is committed by an immigrant that was released from jail in accordance with judicial procedures.
  • Does not address a permanent legislative solution for Dreamers.

Border Security and Immigration Reform Act of 2018 (H.R. 6136)

  • Fails to provide a comprehensive solution for Dreamers and, in fact, adds more restrictive language to the original Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals criteria.
  • Puts severe limits on visa programs that could hamper cities’ economic development and ability to create a diversified workforce. NLC policy calls on the federal government to increase its capacity for both enforcement and efficient means for foreign nationals to obtain legal authorization to temporary visas or legal permanent residency.

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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. Learn more at www.nlc.org.

Thousands of city leaders will gather November 7-10 in Los Angeles, California, for NLC's annual City Summit conference. City Summit is the only national meeting that offers best practices and networking opportunities for both elected officials and city staff. Learn more at citysummit.nlc.org.

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