Over 100 U.S. Mayors Call On Obama to Protect Caribbean Immigrants

WASHINGTON (CMC) — Cities for Action, a coalition of over 100 mayors and county executives from across the United States, is calling on outgoing President Barack Obama to commit to further protections for Caribbean and other immigrants in their communities before he leaves office.

In a letter to Obama, who leaves office on January 20, at least 30 members of the coalition have thanked him for his administration’s support for immigrant families.

In their letter to Obama on Thursday, they recommended that the Obama administration strengthen support for young immigrants with Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals by accepting early DACA renewal applications.

The program permits young immigrants who were brought to the U.S. illegally as children — “dreamers” — to remain in the country without threat of deportation and also to work legally.

“As local government leaders throughout the country, we know that immigrants make our communities stronger economically, culturally and socially,” the letter read.

“For this reason, we have enthusiastically embraced the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program, expressed repeated support for and defense of your 2014 executive actions on immigration, and worked closely with your administration to promote citizenship and the economic, social, and civic integration of immigrants.

“On behalf of millions of our immigrant residents and their families, we thank you for the steps your administration has taken to support vulnerable immigrant populations, from bright young people who may only know life in this country, to immigrants who cannot return to their home countries because of conflict or natural disaster, as well as those who look to the U.S. to lead on human rights and nondiscrimination.

“These actions reflect the ideals of inclusion and refuge that our country is founded on.”

The leaders also asked the president to commit to “timely processing” by the United States Customs and Immigration Services for initial and renewal DACA applications, and to implement additional privacy protections for DACA holders “to reassure recipients that they will not be punished as a result of coming out of the shadows.

“We encourage you to undertake steps to support the over 740,000 DACA recipients in the U.S.,” the letter urged, stating that “DACA has tremendously benefited our communities by helping our residents thrive and contribute in myriad ways.”

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