Atlanta Mayor Keisha Lance Bottoms has joined a national coalition seeking to prevent termination of the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program, the city announced.
The coalition, made up of 40 U.S. cities and counties along with the National League of Cities and the U.S. Conference of Mayors, will work together to file an amicus brief against the end of DACA.
The coalition will urge 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals to uphold an existing nationwide injunction against the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) preventing DHS from ending the DACA program.
The amicus brief states that cities will suffer economically if DACA is rescinded due to the removal of hundreds of thousands of workers, business owners and taxpayers. It also argues that ending DACA will make communities less safe and would make DACA recipients less likely to report criminal activity to law enforcement out of fear of deportation.
Cities in the coalition include Atlanta, Los Angeles, New York, Dallas, Houston, Chicago, Washington D.C. and Philadelphia. According to the release, more than 350,000 DACA recipients currently live in the metropolitan areas of the 40 cities and counties.
Metro Atlanta itself is home to 15,700 DACA recipients, ranking as the eighth largest metro area for approvals in the U.S., according to a press release. Additionally, 70 percent of 47,000 potential Georgia DACA applicants live in Metro Atlanta. A recent study showed the loss of DACA workers could cause approximately a $994,182,808 loss in state GDP, the release said.
In 2014, Atlanta established the Welcoming Atlanta initiative, bringing together city government and community leaders to help immigrants and refugees integrate into the city. Earlier this month, Bottoms joined another coalition dedicated to protecting immigrants in the workforce.
“Six years ago, President Obama took action to create a pathway for law-abiding immigrant youth to avoid deportation and have a shot at achieving the American Dream,” Bottoms said. “While administrations may change, the city of Atlanta’s values have not. Instead of tearing families apart and using young people as bargaining chips, governments should work together to protect hardworking youth who make our economies and communities stronger, and make meaningful strides in creating a sensible immigration system.”