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Bill de Blasio on Immigration

NYC Mayor; Democratic Presidential Challenger (withdrawn)

 


11 million immigrants are here now and part of America

It's all kind of charade because there's 11 million people here, and everyone, in theory, has broken the law, but they're part of our communities now. They're part of our economy. They're our neighbors. Why are we even discussing on one level whether it's a civil penalty or a criminal penalty, when it's an American reality? And what we need is comprehensive immigration, once and for all, to fix it.
Source: July Democratic Primary debate (second night in Detroit) , Jul 31, 2019

Undocumented folks core to our economy

Let's have a path to citizenship for 11 or 12 million people who have been here decades. This is the greatest don't ask/don't tell in American history. For decades, we have had millions and millions of undocumented folks. And they're core to our economy at this point. And they're part of our communities. We could have a rational immigration system. We could have clear border security, and it could be done in a way that actually helps our economy function and creates fairness.
Source: CNN "SOTU" 2019 on 2020 candidates , Jul 14, 2019

Immigration policy & crisis does not reflect our values

We have to change the discussion about in this country because look at the bottom line here. That tragic photo of that parent [Oscar Martinez and his 23-month-old daughter, Valeria, who died trying to cross the Rio Grande seeking asylum], that child-- and I'm saying this as a father. Every American should feel that in their heart, every American should say that is not America, those are not our values.
Source: June Democratic Primary debate (first night in Miami) , Jun 26, 2019

Supports sanctuary cities; would abolish ICE

He supports sanctuary city policies and has vowed to fight the Trump administration's plans to strip them of federal funding. He has opposed ICE crackdowns, before calling for the agency to be abolished. He has even unveiled his plans to provide health care coverage for illegal immigrants.
Source: Townhall.com: "The 2020 Democrats" (presidential hopefuls) , May 18, 2019

Created city ID so undocumented immigrants get healthcare

On immigration: Backs protections for undocumented immigrants.

De Blasio believes everyone should be guaranteed the right to health care, including undocumented immigrants.

As mayor, de Blasio pushed to make New York City a so-called "sanctuary city" that limits cooperation with federal immigration authorities. It's a practice the Trump administration has vigorously opposed. He also announced a health care plan and created a city ID for undocumented immigrants. Under de Blasio, the city also sued the Trump administration when it attempted to withhold of federal grants that were tied to cooperation with U.S. Immigrations and Customs Enforcement.

Source: PBS News Hour 2019 coverage of 2020 Democratic primary , May 17, 2019

End cooperation & presence of ICE in NYC

Decreased Cooperation with ICE: Mayor de Blasio signed into law a bill to end the presence of ICE at all City facilities, including Rikers Island, and dramatically reduced the City's cooperation with federal ICE detainers for low-level offenses. Now, the City will only cooperate in cases involving serious, and violent, crimes.
Source: 2020 Presidential Campaign website BillDeBlasio.com , May 2, 2019

Protect DACA immigrants, no matter what

Protecting DACA: Mayor de Blasio vowed to pushed back against President Trump's decision on DACA. With over 30,000 New Yorkers affected by this policy, the Mayor assured them that their city stands with them: no matter what. The Mayor committed to fighting against the President and his policy, and continuing to put New Yorkers first and protecting them in any way possible.
Source: 2020 Presidential Campaign website BillDeBlasio.com , May 2, 2019

NYC will always be the ultimate city of immigrants

[After President Trump suggested that illegal immigrants be sent to "sanctuary cities" such as NYC]: President Trump has yet again proven that the only constant in his immigration policy is cruelty. He uses people like pawns. New York City will always be the ultimate city of immigrants--the President's empty threats won't change that.
Source: Mayoral press release, "Undocumented," NYC.gov , Apr 12, 2019

Fight the inhumane detention of children at the border

We didn't just sit still and watch what Donald Trump was doing to our city and to the rest of this country. We took him on. We sent lawyers to the border to fight the inhumane detention of children.

Remember early in his administration when Trump tried to force us to ask New Yorkers their immigration status? And he thought he had us, because he threatened to block our law enforcement funding, the very money we use to keep New Yorkers safe. Guess what happened? We took him to court and we won.

Source: 2019 State of the City address , Jan 10, 2019

Detaining Muslim travelers is simply un-American

Q: You oppose Donald Trump's new executive orders on immigration and refugee policy. The NYC airports were chaotic; was there any guidance about this new policy?

DE BLASIO: No, there was no guidance. And that's why there is so much confusion here. But let's be clear. President Trump's executive order is simply un-American. It is suggesting that people's civil liberties can be taken away, even if they are green card holders,. I have read this executive order. It makes no distinction if someone is already recognized on the pathway to citizenship. It makes no distinction if you have served in the U.S. military previously. You still can be detained. In this country, the notion of detention without due process, without probable cause, violates our constitutional norms. And the exception for individuals suggests, bluntly, non-Muslims: that should be very, very worrisome, as the first step towards a Muslim registry, which, again, would be un-American and unacceptable.

Source: CNN "State of the Union" 2017 interview by Jake Tapper , Jan 29, 2017

Greater outreach and assistance to immigrant entrepreneurs

New York's immigrant communities are a continuing source of entrepreneurial activity and can play a key role in creating new jobs. But the city is not providing sufficient assistance to these groups. 92% of immigrant businesses reported receiving no services to start or sustain their businesses--with 51% unaware of the services available to them. De Blasio proposed a series of programs for the city to improve its support for immigrant entrepreneurs, including greater outreach and technical assistanc
Source: 2013 Mayoral campaign website, www.billdeblasio.com , Oct 22, 2013

Created privately-funded the DREAM fellowship

Creating DREAM Scholarships: Working through the New York Immigration Coalition and additional non-profit funding, Bill de Blasio created the DREAM fellowship--a scholarship and leadership development program for undocumented college students. Beyond helping dozens of students, the initiative has highlighted the need for enactment of national and state DREAM Act legislation. A second cohort of students just completed the spring semester with the aid of this program
Source: 2013 Mayoral campaign website, www.billdeblasio.com , Oct 22, 2013

Universal City ID for services for undocumented immigrants

Source: 2013 Mayoral campaign website, www.billdeblasio.com , Oct 22, 2013

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Other big-city mayors on Immigration: Bill de Blasio on other issues:

Tom Barrett (D,Milwaukee)
Bill de Blasio (D,NYC)
Rahm Emanuel (D,Chicago)
Bob Filner (D,San Diego)
Steven Fulop (D,Jersey City)
Eric Garcetti (D,Los Angeles)
Mike Rawlings (D,Dallas)
Marty Walsh (D,Boston)

Former Mayors:
Rocky Anderson (I,Salt Lake City)
Tom Barrett (D,Milwaukee,WI)
Mike Bloomberg (I,New York City)
Cory Booker (D,Newark,NJ)
Jerry Brown (D,Oakland,CA)
Julian Castro (D,San Antonio,TX)
Rudy Giuliani (R,New York City)
Phil Gordon (D,Phoenix)
Tom Menino (D,Boston)
Dennis Kucinch (D,Cleveland,OH)
Michael Nutter (D,Philadelphia)
Sarah Palin (R,Wasilla,AK)
Annise Parker (D,Houston)
Jerry Sanders (R,San Diego)
Antonio Villaraigosa (D,Los Angeles)
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Page last updated: Oct 16, 2020