Two major cities, Chicago and Philadelphia, swung their weight behind comprehensive immigration reform this week.
In the aptly-nicknamed “City of Brotherly Love,” the Philadelphia City Council passed a resolution telling Congress not to head for the hills on comprehensive immigration reform. Of course, Philly has a strong record on immigration issues, perhaps because immigrants have done so much to pick up what was a seriously flagging economy. Last year, the City Council urged support for the DREAM Act, to help students brought to the United States as children establish a secure residency. And Mayor Michael Nutter encouraged undocumented immigrants to help keep the city streets safe and report crimes to police by broadcasting a policy that city employees wouldn’t ask questions about immigration status. Ah, Philadelphia, what a fine tradition you have — you saw the Declaration of Independence signed, are home to the Liberty Bell, and support a just immigration system.
Sadly, there’s a blemish on their shining pro-immigration reform stance: Rep. Patrict Murphy (D-PA), one of the Blue Dog Democrats, signed on to a bill recently introduced in the House that would deny undocumented immigrants any means of embarking on a path to legalization. Local immigrant rights groups and working to bring Murphy on board with the City Council and the mayor.
Meanwhile, the Cook County Board — which includes Chicago, IL, in its jurisdiction — also called for “just and humane” immigration reform that provides a path to citizenship for undocumented immigrants. Illinois is also home to six of the House Representatives co-sponsoring CIR ASAP, including the head honcho on this bill himself, Luis Gutierrez. Thanks to the Windy City for not leaving immigrants out in the cold!
Photo credit: basykes