Twenty-one cities, many of which have been branded as so-called “sanctuary cities,” promised on Independence Day to naturalize over a million immigrants before 2018 through the Naturalize NOW campaign. Among the many cities supporting the immigration initiative include New York City, San Francisco, Seattle, Boston, Chicago, Dallas, Jersey City, Los Angeles, Miami, Pittsburgh, and Tucson.
Naturalize NOW was initiated by immigration rights advocates, progressive groups, and elected officials with the goal of protecting the millions of law-abiding undocumented immigrants from the Trump administration’s aggressive immigration crackdown. It seeks to embrace “the diversity and innovation immigrants bring to the United States by assisting eligible legal residents through the naturalization process.”
Its central mission, according to its Flag Day press release, is to encourage community members to participate in the country’s democracy and to protect themselves as well as their families. The pledge comes on the heels of two Republican-sponsored immigration bills, “Kate’s Law” and the “No Sanctuary for Criminals Act,” which would increase sanctions against deportees who re-enter American soil and pressure local governments into complying with federal immigration enforcement efforts.