Mayors meeting to up pressure on immigration

A group of 23 mayors from some of the nation’s largest cities will meet next week to discuss how to promote and implement President Obama’s executive order on immigration.

{mosads}The summit, to be held at Gracie Mansion in New York City next Monday, will allow mayors to swap tips on how to reach out to immigrant communities and encourage those who might be eligible to sign up for deferred action under the president’s program.

Each mayor will also be expected to develop a five-point strategy for implementing the president’s executive action, which offers work permits and deferred deportation to roughly 5 million illegal immigrants. Among those newly eligible are the parents of U.S. citizens or permanent residents who have been in the country for more than five years.

Commissioners of city immigrant affairs bureaus will also be in attendance to discuss nuts-and-bolts implementation of the executive orders, as well as solicit advice from legal experts.

And after the summit, the mayors are expected to launch a national media campaign that will include sitting for interviews and appearing at immigration events.

“This summit will offer a unique opportunity for mayors of many of our nation’s progressive cities to restate our leadership and responsibility on this decisive issue and to come out with an unbeatable master plan that truly prepares our localities for swift implementation of changes and also advocates for further reforms from the municipal level all the way up to Washington,” New York Mayor Bill de Blasio said in a statement.

The mayors, who predominately hail from liberal cities like Seattle; Portland, Ore., and San Francisco, will also look to ratchet up pressure on Congress to pass a comprehensive immigration bill. That’s in concert with the president, who has repeatedly implored lawmakers upset with his action to “pass a bill” in appearances supporting it in Las Vegas and Chicago.

“The time for comprehensive immigration reform is long overdue,” said Providence, R.I., Mayor Angel Taveras. “These are issues that impact our cities every day. Given Congress’s failure to act, I am proud to join Mayor de Blasio and other mayors to support the president’s executive order and fix our nation’s broken immigration system.”

Last week, White House spokesman Eric Schultz said the administration would continue to press the issue in the coming weeks.

“This is a pressing issue facing the country — that what the president announced was an important step in addressing those challenges, but there’s more to be done,” Schultz said. “And that if Congress were to pass comprehensive bipartisan immigration reform, one like the one that passed in the United States Senate with Democrats, Republicans and independents supporting it, that he would crumple up his executive actions and sign that bill into law.”

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