Three West Coast mayors are asking the leaders of other cities to take a stand against workplace immigration raids that they say hurt local economies and may force companies to relocate.
At the annual meeting of the U.S. Conference of Mayors this week in Miami, Los Angeles Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa, Oakland Mayor Ron Dellums and Seattle Mayor Greg Nickels will ask their colleagues to challenge how the government raids businesses in search of illegal workers.
They want Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) to focus on businesses that exploit workers, such as those that violate wage and safety laws, not “responsible employers” that contribute to economies, their resolution says.
“We’ve never taken the position that you shouldn’t enforce the law,” Villaraigosa says. “What we’ve said is, in a time of limited resources, we should prioritize our enforcement. At a time when we don’t have the resources to go after criminals, we’re going after legitimate businesses and workers instead. That doesn’t make sense.”
The resolution will be discussed by a committee Saturday and, if approved, will go to all the mayors for a vote Monday.