| NEW YORK
NEW YORK Dec 7 Mayors from the largest U.S.
cities warned President-elect Donald Trump on Wednesday of the
potential economic harm he might cause if he wipes out a program
that allows young illegal immigrants to remain in the United
They warned in a letter that as much as $9.9 billion in tax
revenue would be lost over four years and $433.4 billion in U.S.
gross domestic product would be wiped out over 10 years if he
cancels a policy aimed at protecting these people from
DACA, or The Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals policy,
was created through an executive order in 2012. It allows
undocumented young people brought to the United States before
the age of 16 to remain without fear of deportation as they
pursue a higher education, work or engage in military service.
The deferred action is subject to renewal every two years.
The mayors asked for the program to allow for initial
applications and renewals to continue until "Congress modernizes
our immigration system and provides a more permanent form of
relief for these individuals." As president, Trump would have
the authority to undo DACA.
"This program helps foster economic growth and enhances
public safety and national security," said the letter, written
by the Democratic Mayor of Chicago, Rahm Emanuel, and signed by
mayors of other major U.S. cities including New York, Los
Angeles, and Houston.
"We are clear as mayors that these are dreamers who are
seeking the American Dream, and we should embrace them rather
than do a bait-and-switch," Emanuel said after presenting Trump
the letter at a meeting in New York.
Trump has called for the deportation of illegal immigrants,
an estimated 11 million people, and promised to build a wall on
the border with Mexico.
According to the letter, which was made available to the
press, nearly 742,000 undocumented youths have participated in
DACA is part of the broader immigration issue of
municipalities that offer themselves up as "sanctuary cities,"
where local law enforcement refuse to report to federal
authorities undocumented immigrants they encounter.
Trump has threatened to cut off federal funding for those
municipalities. While he would have the authority to cut some
kinds of funding, mayors of those cities have said they will not
be pressured to report migrants to federal agents.
Santa Ana city council voted on Tuesday to declare their
community in Southern California of 325,000 people, half of whom
are foreign born and 80 percent of Hispanic descent, a sanctuary
In Los Angeles, the County Board of Supervisors on Tuesday
voted to ask county departments to provide plans for shielding
undocumented immigrants from U.S. immigration authorities, said
Jessie Gomez, a spokeswoman for Supervisor Hilda Solis.
The board oversees health, law enforcement and social
welfare departments that operate county-wide but it does not
administer the city of Los Angeles. Nearly one million residents
of Los Angeles County are believed to be undocumented
immigrants, according to Solis' office.
White House spokesman Josh Earnest on Wednesday said he
could not address the incoming president's potential actions but
that the current administration was working to ensure Trump's
team understood why Obama pursued the policy.
"The president's been crystal clear, both in words and
deeds, about his view that young people who are American in
every way but their papers shouldn't be deported ... A policy of
deporting them would be inconsistent with our values," Earnest
said of DACA.
(Reporting by Daniel Bases; Additional reporting by Melissa
Fares in New York, Ayesha Rascoe in Washington and Alex
Dobuzinskis in Los Angeles; Editing by James Dalgleish)