From Immigration To Infrastructure, Big-City Mayors Draw Up Wish List For Trump

With Donald Trump’s choices for secretaries of transportation and of housing and urban development — Elaine Chao and Dr. Ben Carson, respectively — there may be hints about the urban agenda Trump’s administration may be shaping.

Some big-city mayors say they’re worried about potential cuts in federal funding that candidate Trump warned about on the stump, and they are reaching out to the president-elect. They say they have plenty of ideas they want to share about the country’s cities.

Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel, a former chief of staff to President Obama, met Wednesday with Trump, at Trump’s invitation. It gave Emanuel a chance to hand-deliver a letter from mayors of some of the country’s largest cities.

The letter asks Trump to continue the Obama administration policy that prevents the deportation of so-called DREAMers — young immigrants who came to the United States before they were 16 years old and so named for meeting the requirements under the Development, Relief and Education for Alien Minors Act proposal that would have created a pathway to citizenship for them.

“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 says.

During his campaign, Trump said he would reverse protections, but recently he said he would work to find a solution for DREAMers. He made another related promise, though, in a campaign speech on immigration last August that has many mayors concerned.

“Block funding for sanctuary cities,” Trump told a cheering crowd in Phoenix. “We block the funding, no more funding.”

Hundreds of so-called sanctuary cities across the country limit their cooperation with federal authorities when it comes to people who are in the country illegally.

By CHERYL CORLEY for NPR.ORG
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