DMO recognizes that America is a land of immigrants and an increasingly diverse nation which draws strength from that diversity.
America at our best and strongest has always been a welcoming nation which takes pride in serving and protecting all our citizens and residents regardless of race, religion, national origin, or ethnicity.
Our nation has a proud tradition of welcoming refugees from war, disaster, and even genocide to a new home of safety, opportunity, and community.
Further, when admitted through a well-managed and adequately resourced system, immigrants strengthen the United States by creating economic opportunities, increasing America’s scientific and cultural resources,
strengthening our ties with other nations, fulfilling humanitarian commitments, and supporting family ties and family values that are necessary to build strong communities.
DMO opposes any measures which target populations within our diverse communities for legal scrutiny or other challenges based on race, religion, national origin, ethnicity, gender, sexual orientation, or gender identity.
We recognize that all within our communities are safer when victims and witnesses of domestic violence or criminal activity feel safe in contacting our police for assistance without fear, regardless of their immigration status.
DMO opposes any effort to push immigration law enforcement responsibilities down to the municipal or other local level. Immigration law is properly a national government responsibility. Cities and towns have serious and extensive community safety responsibilities, and resources should not be diverted from those to undertake work not appropriate for the local government level.
DMO opposes any efforts to tie municipal funding to local actions or policies regarding immigration. Cities and towns should never be expected to curtail our proper role of community-building and promotion of public safety and welfare in our diverse communities, in the service of politically motivated attacks on immigrants and religious minorities.
Instead, the current national environment of excessive fear and suspicion directed by the incumbent Administration toward immigrants, refugees, and other newcomers calls for cities and towns to reaffirm our commitment to providing a welcoming and inclusive community for all.
DMO supports comprehensive immigration reform which addresses the problems which have contributed to backlogs of immigration cases in need of resolution, and provides a pathway to legal status and citizenship for undocumented immigrants currently living in the United States, with appropriate conditions and safeguards such as those reflected in the 2017 NLC National Municipal Policy Book. In designing the details of reform, we should also take care not to place an excess financial burden on immigrants that will keep participation beyond their reach.
DMO encourages our members to lead their communities in taking actions like the following:
--Publicly affirm our welcoming and inclusive traditions, and opposition to discrimination based on race, religion, national origin, ethnicity, gender, sexual orientation, or gender identity.
--Affirmatively reach out to immigrant and religious minority communities who may feel threatened by the current national political atmosphere, through public declarations of welcoming policies, community forums for respectful dialogue, and community-building events.
--Empower and direct local Human Relations offices and councils to study these issues and make further recommendations to the local elected boards for additional appropriate policies and programs to address these concerns.
--Decline to participate in voluntary federal programs which require local law enforcement agencies to become agents of immigration law enforcement.
--Work with local law enforcement leaders to see that sound community policing policies are in place and enforced, which ensure that victims and witnesses of domestic abuse, gang activity, and other crime feel safe in contacting law enforcement for help, without fear of action against themselves based on their immigration status.
--Advocate in opposition to policies and programs which harm local communities by breaking up families.
--Where any of these sound policies are prohibited or discouraged by state law, advocate for reform of the unwise law.
--Establish and support local human services programs (such as ESL programs) to assist the successful integration of new immigrants into productive places within our communities.
--Support programs for the resettlement of refugees within local communities, and assistance in their successful integration into American society.
--Work with law enforcement to ensure that programs such as DWI checkpoints and other location-specific policing activities avoid disparate impacts by race or ethnicity.
--Work with law enforcement to ensure that adequate policies and training are in place to avoid racial and ethnic profiling.