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Bowser Joins Mayors in NYC to Develop Immigration Strategy

Immigration activists gathered in front of the White House listen to the president's speech on his executive action. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

Two days after House Republicans took a largely symbolic vote condemning the president's executive immigration action ,  District of Columbia Mayor-elect Muriel Bowser joined mayors from around the country in New York City to discuss strategies for implementing the order.  

“Mayors across the country recognize the important contributions immigrants have made in our nation’s history – and that they continue to make in our cities every day," Bowser said in a statement Monday. "We applaud the Obama Administration for looking to address immigration reform in a responsible and respectful way. These new policies will ensure that thousands of undocumented immigrants in the District of Columbia are given a fair shot at the American Dream." In November, President Barack Obama announced an executive order  to address undocumented immigrants in the United States, which protected 4 million people from deportation and made them eligible for work permits, and made a number of other changes to the immigration system. The administration also argued that the president's action was necessary in light of Congress not passing an immigration overhaul.  

The roughly two dozen mayors who met Sunday and Monday are also part of the Cities United for Immigration Action, a coalition focused on implementing the executive order. The mayors met to develop a cohesive implementation strategy and panelists included Homeland Security Secretary Jeh Johnson, U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services Director León Rodríguez, and White House senior adviser Valerie Jarrett.  

According to a statement announcing the summit, the other goal of the conference was "creating consensus on the need for a permanent solution to the nation’s broken immigration system through congressional action on comprehensive reform."  

Current D.C. Mayor Vincent Gray is one of 31 mayors who are members of the Cities United For Immigration Action steering committee and Bowser is also expected to play an active role in this issue. The coalition does not include any Republican mayors.  

However, though Gray is a member, he did not attend the summit in New York City due to a scheduling conflict.  

"Mayor Gray is fully supportive of President Obama’s efforts to move immigration reform forward and applauds Mayor de Blasio for taking the lead," Gray spokesman Matt Desjardins wrote in an email to CQ Roll Call, referring to New York Mayor Bill de Blasio. "Due to demands on his schedule in D.C., he is unable to attend today’s summit in New York but has sent his Director of the Office of Latino Affairs Roxanna Olivas to take part and share how the District has led on immigration reform."  

Related: Immigration Not High on McConnell Agenda ‘Looser’ Obama Opens Up on Taxes, Trade, Regulations, immigration, GOP Obama Would Veto Any Bill Overturning Immigration Executive Action The 114th: CQ Roll Call's Guide to the New Congress Get breaking news alerts and more from Roll Call in your inbox or on your iPhone.