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Big city mayors press courts on Obama immigration orders

6 Apr

Leaders of more than 70 cities and counties signed on to a legal brief on Monday calling for President Obama’s executive actions on immigration to move ahead.A Texas district judge issued a temporary injunction in February to freeze the executive actions to shield certain illegal immigrants from deportation. The Justice Department has filed an appeal of the decision so that the policies can proceed.

The brief is signed by the leaders of several major cities, including New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio, Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti, Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel, Salt Lake City Mayor Ralph Becker and Boston Mayor Martin J. Walsh.

“Continuing to delay implementation of the president’s executive action on immigration hurts our economy and puts families at risk,” de Blasio, who spearheaded the effort with Garcetti, said in a statement. “Cities are where immigrants live, and cities are where the president’s executive action will be successfully implemented.”City and county leaders argue that the immigration actions would increase local tax revenue and boost local economies with the increased number of work permits allotted to eligible immigrants.

“They will help keep families together, increase safety in our communities, and maximize the contributions that immigrants make every day in every part of our city,” Emanuel, who faces a tough run-off reelection race this month, said.

A total of 73 cities and counties endorsed the brief, as well as the National League of Cities and U.S. Conference of Mayors.

Some of the localities supporting the brief are in states that are part of the original lawsuit against the Obama administration. Cities and counties in Texas, which is leading the lawsuit challenging the executive actions’ constitutionality, as well as Arkansas, Arizona, Florida, Georgia, Indiana, North Carolina, Ohio, South Carolina, Utah and Wisconsin endorsed it despite their states’ involvement in the lawsuit.

Twenty-eight mayors signed on to a similar brief in January.