April 6, 2015

Mayor Emanuel Joins Coalition Of Mayors To Support President Obama’s Executive Actions On Immigration

Amicus Brief Filed in Texas v. United States Case before the Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals in Defense of President’s Obama’s Executive Actions on Immigration

Mayor's Press Office    312.744.3334

Mayor Rahm Emanuel and the City of Chicago today joined 73 cities and counties, the National League of Cities, and the U.S. Conference of Mayors in filing a friend of the Court (Amicus) brief in the Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals expressing their support of President Obama’s executive actions on immigration. The Amicus brief will provide the court a distinctive, local perspective on why granting a temporary hold (preliminary injunction) against the President’s executive actions would be contrary to the public’s interest. The brief opposes a lawsuit from 25 states, led by Texas, aiming to block the President’s immigration executive actions that will provide work authorization and relief of deportation to qualifying undocumented youth as well as undocumented parents of U.S. citizens and legal permanent residents.

“Chicago has always been a city of immigrants and for us to stay true to our history and our values, we must ensure that immigrants can fully participate in all aspects of our economic and cultural life,” said Mayor Rahm Emanuel. “We are proud to join numerous cities in filing this amicus brief to support President Obama’s executive actions on immigration. 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.”

A total of 73 cities and counties – representing 43 million people across the country - have signed on to the amicus brief in support of President Obama’s recent executive actions on immigration, which are currently the target of a lawsuit from 25 states, led by Texas, aiming to block the President’s executive actions on immigration. The brief argues that the plaintiffs have failed to satisfy the four elements required to warrant the preliminary injunction, as the fourth, critical prong cannot be met – the requirement to establish that the grant of a preliminary injunction is in the public interest. In addition, the brief states that, contrary to the plaintiff’s claims, granting of a preliminary injunction in fact harms the public interest by delaying the implementation of the President’s directives, which create significant benefits to cities and counties including: fueling the economic growth in cities across the country through job creation and new tax revenue; increasing public safety by encouraging more immigrant residents to trust and cooperate with local law enforcement; and facilitating the full integration of immigrants into their communities and promoting family unity.

Mayor Emanuel’s support of the amicus brief in this case is one of many progressive stances he has taken to further his commitment to making Chicago the most immigrant friendly city in the country. Since taking office as Mayor of Chicago, Mayor Emanuel has launched and supported a wide range of initiatives to ensure that the City of Chicago is inclusive of immigrant individuals and communities in Chicago. Just some of these initiatives include:

  • Building on the success of last year’s One Summer Chicago initiative, Mayor Emanuel and the Department of Family and Support Services (DFSS) announced a special new summer jobs program for youth, including Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) beneficiaries, to learn about and disseminate information in their communities about President Obama’s executive actions on immigration. 
  • Mayor Emanuel has worked closely with Congressman Gutierrez and the IL is Ready Campaign to make Chicago the gold standard in assisting as many people as possible in taking advantage of President Obama’s Administrative Relief. 
  • Mayor Emanuel launched the Cities for Citizenship Campaign with Mayors of New York City and Los Angeles and secured $250,000 in funding from Citigroup to expand naturalization rates among U.S. permanent residents. 
  • Mayor Emanuel, Alderman Pawar, and Alderman Colon introduced the City’s first Language Access Ordinance in City Council, ensuring that immigrants and limited-English-proficient (LEP) residents have access to city services, resources, and programs in the top five languages spoken in Chicago. 
  • The City of Chicago opened up nearly 23,000 internship and job opportunities for DREAMers.
  • Mayor Emanuel launched the Chicago STAR Scholarship to all qualifying students with a B average or better, regardless of immigration status.