Mayor Sylvester Turner announced today that Houston has joined in a friend of the court brief to the U.S. Supreme Court in support of President Obama’s commonsense and humane executive action on immigration.
“I urge the Court to move quickly to overturn the lower court injunction that has stalled implementation of the President’s order,” said Mayor Turner. A favorable ruling would remove the fear of deportation and separation that more than 200,000 eligible immigrants in the greater Houston metropolitan area live with every day. We want these men, women and children to feel free to come out of the shadows and work toward the American Dream we all wish for ourselves.”
Two years ago, under the leadership of New York Mayor Bill DeBlasio and Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti, Houston, Atlanta, Chicago and over 90 other cities formed Cities United for Immigration Action to develop a coordinated national response to President Obama’s executive action addressing immigration. All of the nation’s major cities with substantial immigrant and non-immigrant populations are opposing the lawsuit filed by the state of Texas and other state governments.
Nationwide, the President’s order would benefit upwards of four million undocumented immigrants who have resided in the United State since January 2010, and who either have children who are full citizens or themselves came to the U.S. as children. Immigrants who meet those requirements as well as additional educational requirements would be allowed to remain in the U.S. for three years and lawfully earn a living. The President is not offering amnesty. His executive action also cracks down on illegal immigration at the border, makes deportation of felons a priority and mandates criminal background checks for certain undocumented immigrants.
“This lawsuit is bad for the economy, hurts families and has stalled desperately needed changes to the federal government’s immigration policies,” said Turner. “These are individuals who are business owners, customers, students, and parents who simply want a brighter future. While we wait for the courts to do the right thing, Houston is continuing to help them navigate the issues of immigration and citizenship.”
Through its website and work with community-based organizations, the City’s Office of International Communities and Refugee Affairs warns against scams and provides access to service providers who can help immigrants maneuver the steps toward citizenship. More information is available at http://citizenshipcorner.org/.