PITTSBURGH, PA (Dec. 1, 2014) – Today, Mayor William Peduto joined more than 20 mayors from across the country to launch Cities United for Immigration Action (CUIA) – a nationwide coalition of mayors working together to ensure the successful implementation of the president’s immigration reform plan. Working within this coalition, Mayor Peduto is leading the national dialogue on immigration reform at the municipal level and taking a leadership role to influence policy change from the ground up. CUIA will work to maximize the benefits of administrative relief while building support for congressional action on immigration reform.
Mayor Peduto said: “I stand with the president on executive action because this is a vital first step to comprehensive immigration reform. We must not let congressional gridlock get in the way of progress. In Pittsburgh, our growing immigrant community furthers the economic prosperity of our city by opening new businesses, being customers at local stores, paying taxes, and giving back to local charities. Yet, this is not just a Pittsburgh story, this is the reality across our country. Our cities thrive when we build a welcoming environment for all."
The mayors issued the following joint statement in advance of a two-day convening in New York City on Dec. 8, 2014:
“Our cities recognize and celebrate the contributions of immigrants to our nation, and we welcome immigrants in our communities. The president’s action on immigration will strengthen our cities. It will keep families together, grow our economies and foster additional community trust in law enforcement and government. We are ready — and together we’re rolling up our sleeves to turn this policy into a better reality for millions of hardworking people in the communities we serve. While we continue to urge Congress to enact comprehensive and long-lasting reform, the president’s action will help many immigrants gain the opportunities, skills and status to reach their fullest potential, which will help America’s cities prosper.”
Along with Mayor Peduto, the coalition includes Mayors Bill de Blasio of New York City; Eric Garcetti of Los Angeles; Annise Parker of Houston; Ed Lee of San Francisco; Vincent C. Gray of Washington; Kasim Reed of Atlanta; Michael Nutter of Philadelphia; Mike Duggan of Detroit; Betsy Hodges of Minneapolis; Nan Whaley of Dayton, Ohio; Ralph Becker of Salt Lake City; Stephanie Rawlings-Blake of Baltimore; Charlie Hales of Portland, Ore.; Lovely A. Warren of Rochester, N.Y.; Karen Majewski of Hamtramck, Mich.; Virgil Bernero of Lansing, Michigan; Dayne Walling of Flint, Mich.; Marian McClellan of Oak Park, Mich., Bobby Hopewell of Kalamazoo, Mich.; and Gayle McLaughlin of Richmond, Calif. More mayors are expected to join on in the days ahead.
At a time of congressional inaction, this new coalition sends a strong message about popular support and the crucial role cities to impact policy at the national level. The CUIA cities are united in their belief that immigrants are vital to the strength and economic growth of our nation, that their participation in civic activities must be nurtured, and that there is a bright line between federal immigration enforcement and local law enforcement. For more information, please visit CitiesForAction.us.
The Welcoming Pittsburgh Advisory Council issued the following joint statement in support of President Obama's order and the launch of Cities United For Immigration Action:
"The Welcoming Pittsburgh Advisory Council joins Mayor Peduto in supporting President Obama's Executive Order encouraging law abiding, hard-working, undocumented families to move out of the shadows of an irrational and arbitrary immigration system. We also applaud the President’s efforts to improve immigration procedures for highly skilled immigrants and immigrant entrepreneurs.
As Pittsburghers, we know from our own stories that the vast number of immigrants come to this country to build a better life, enriching all our communities as they do so. The President's decision not only allows families with children, who pay taxes, respect our laws and have lived with us for five or more years to remain in our country, but also encourages highly skilled immigrants and entrepreneurs to come here and contribute to our nation’s economy.
Because news reports of the President’s actions can be confusing and contradictory, we encourage immigrants of whatever status to seek out advice from competent, reputable sources so as to not fall victim to fraud or false offers for immigration status.
Finally, we recognize that the President’s actions will provide only temporary relief, and that the best solution lies in a long-term, comprehensive immigration reform bill. We ask our elected representatives to come together on common sense reforms that would encourage all immigrants to move down a path to citizenship.
In the meanwhile, President Obama's policies supporting responsible but undocumented families and simplifying the immigration process for highly skilled immigrants are important first steps – good for our country and important for Pittsburgh as we work to make our City a more welcoming place for immigrants from around the world."
Monday, December 1, 2014
City of Pittsburgh
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