December 30, 2016

Kenney signs letter urging Obama to continue policies protecting immigration

Politics Immigration
Jim Kenney Matt Rourke/AP Photo

Mayor Jim Kenney.

Philadelphia is joining alongside 30 other cities calling on President Barack Obama to continue his work protecting immigration before his time in office runs out.

Mayor Jim Kenney on Thursday signed the open letter addressed to the president, asking Obama and his administration to continue support for those protected by the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals, as well as for those who have temporary protected status.

More specifically, it urges the administration to accept early DACA renewal applications and to support immigrants who don't feel safe enough to go back to their home countries.

DACA is an immigration policy started by Obama in 2012 that aims to protect some undocumented immigrants, who entered the United States as children, from deportation.

Kenney – along with mayors of other cities across the nation, like Chicago, Los Angeles and New York – also thanked Obama for his work in protecting immigrant families during his two terms in office.

"On behalf of millions of our immigrant residents and their families, we thank you for the steps your administration has taken to support vulnerable immigrant populations, from bright young people who may only know life in this country, to immigrants who cannot return to their home countries because of conflict or natural disaster, as well as those who look to the U.S. to lead on human rights and non-discrimination. These actions reflect the ideals of inclusion and refuge that our country is founded on," the letter reads.

It's not the first time Kenney's supporting an open letter like this calling on federal officials. In November, Kenney was one of 39 mayors across the nation who signed an open letter to President-elect Donald Trump to reconsider his views on climate change.

“I am proud to stand with my fellow Mayors and take action to show our support of immigrant and refugee communities in all our cities," Kenney said in a statement issued Thursday. "I am happy to see the White House taking steps to protect those who are vulnerable and urge that more steps are taken to protect Dreamers and those with Temporary Protected Status."

Read the full letter to Obama here