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Immigration Is Absolutely an Urban Issue


As early as next week, the U.S. Supreme Court could come out with a ruling on the legality and scope of President Barack Obama’s executive actions on immigration in the case of United States v. Texas. If the justices rule in favor of the government, the Deferred Action for Parents of Americans (DAPA) and extended Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) programs will get a green light. That means four million eligible undocumented immigrants will be allowed to legally stay and work in the U.S temporarily. 

There’s no question that the SCOTUS decision is newsworthy, but does it deserve coverage here on CityLab? That’s a polite version of the question we often get—usually through reader comments on stories we’ve published about city-, state-, and national-level immigration policies. Let me explain exactly why immigration is absolutely an urban issue.

“CityLab informs and inspires the people who are creating the cities of the future—and those who want to live there.” That’s our mission statement as a publication. Immigrants—both documented and undocumented—are the people building our cities. They also live in and around them, and keep them up and running. And yet, we don’t quite seem to recognize their value for cities—or why we need to plan cities with them in mind. 

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