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New Haven Mayor Toni Harp and Hartford Mayor Pedro Segarra are among 17 mayors to join New York City’s Bill de Blasio in a pact to share information about implementing President Obama’s executive order on immigration. The mayors pledged to work together to find the best ways to overcome challenges, protect those affected from fraud, and the use of education and outreach.
Harp and Segarra met with the others in the group at Gracie Mansion in New York City Monday. An information-sharing “war room” is part of a “Five-Point Challenge”: •Launch the aforementioned mayoral “war room” for federal action on immigration reform •Establish local Cities United for Immigration Action coalitions •Safeguard immigrants from fraudulent services •Reach all eligible applicants through community outreach and public education •Audit services and programs to ensure efficient and affordable delivery of services to maximize enrollment by city residents “President Obama has defined a path forward on immigration and we are so grateful for that,” said Segarra. “As Mayors, we will now take the baton and work within our communities to ensure we make this successful. But to be truly successful, we need Congress to pass comprehensive immigration reform,” he said. New Haven has been a national leader on the issue of immigration issues under former long-term Mayor John DeStefano and is a major part of his legacy. In 2007, New Haven introduced the highly controversial Elm City Identification card—a form of identification that could be used by any resident of the city whether that person was illegally in the country or not. Mayors attending Monday’s gathering included: Ras Baraka of Newark, Ralph Becker of Salt Lake City, Javier Gonzales of Santa Fe, Edwin Lee of San Francisco, Edward Murray of Seattle, and Mayors‐Elect Muriel Bowser of Washington, D.C. and Jorge Elorza of Providence.