Mayor Keisha Lance Bottoms signing the executive order permanently ending immigrant detention at ACDC. Image via Welcoming Atlanta.
Mayor Keisha Lance Bottoms will be welcoming representatives of Cities for Action, (C4A) a coalition of over 175 local government leaders advocating for pro-immigrant federal policies and promoting inclusive community-level legislation and programing, to City Hall on Thursday, May 9.
The meeting will bring 30 national and 10 local leaders to discuss immigration strategies and how local governments can protect communities against anti-immigrant federal policies, according to city materials. The keynote speaker will be Sarah Stillman, a staff writer at the New Yorker who focuses on immigration policy and the criminal justice system.
“In a time when certain segments of our society are targeted for their country of origin or nationality, Atlanta must send a strong signal to all its residents that they indeed have a seat at the table,” Bottoms said in a statement.
The meeting is hosted by the Mayor’s Office of Immigrant Affairs’ Welcoming Atlanta Initiative, an effort to expand the city’s efforts for inclusion of immigrants and refugees, according to program materials. Atlanta has the second-fastest growing foreign-born population in the U.S., and the initiative partners city government and community leaders to support them.
Bottoms made headlines last summer when she signed an executive order prohibiting the city’s jail from accepting new detainees from the U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement agency, according to the Atlanta Journal Constitution. The move was polarizing, drawing both praise and ire locally and nationally.
Topics of discussion for Thursday’s meeting will include developments at the southern border, the 2020 census, establishing offices of immigrant affairs and how to maintain relationships with immigration enforcement officials, according to city materials. The meeting will commence at noon, with Bottom’s remarks beginning at 2 p.m.