CHICAGO (CBS) — In a private meeting in New York, Mayor Rahm Emanuel delivered a letter to President-elect Donald Trump, urging him to continue a federal program that allows some undocumented immigrants to avoid deportation.

The letter, signed by Emanuel and 16 other big city mayors, asked the Trump administration to continue the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) system enacted by President Barack Obama, until Congress passes a comprehensive plan to overhaul the immigration system. The federal program allows immigrants brought to the country illegally as children to avoid deportation and get work permits.

“Nearly 742,000 undocumented youth have participated in DACA since it began in 2012. With work authorization and without the fear of deportation, these young people have been able to participate in and contribute to our cities, our country and our economy. These youth have deep economic and social ties to our nation. Many of them have been educated in American schools and employed by American business owners. They paid fees, submitted fingerprints and underwent background checks,” the letter said.

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