Twenty-one mostly "sanctuary cities" are pledging to make 1 million immigrants U.S. citizens this year.

The "Naturalize NOW!" campaign, which includes liberal and progressive groups and elected officials, heralded the mayors of the cities in joining the national effort.

Among the cities cited in an Independence Day notice from Mi Familia: Atlanta, GA; Boston, MA; Cleveland, OH; Charlotte, NC; Chicago, IL; Dallas, TX; Dayton, OH; Jersey City, NJ; Knoxville, TN; Los Angeles, CA; Miami, FL; Miami-Dade County, FL; Montgomery County, MD; Paterson, NJ; Pittsburgh, PA; New York City, NY; Salt Lake County, UT; San Francisco, CA; Seattle; South Gate, CA & Tucson, AZ.

Many are sanctuary cities and counties.

"We celebrate our independence on July 4, and honor the values of freedom, justice, unity, and equality that make us who we are," said Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti. "Los Angeles joined the Naturalize NOW campaign because those principles are still worth fighting for — and to encourage eligible Angelenos and people across the country to seek a path toward citizenship and join the American family."

According to Naturalize Now!, more immigrants than ever have applied for U.S. citizenship, a spike coming at a time when the Trump administration is warning all illegal immigrants about deportation.

According to Mi Familia, "The campaign announced on Flag Day that a record-breaking number of aspiring Americans have submitted citizenship applications in 2017, making the second quarter of this year busier than 2016, a federal election year. The Naturalize NOW! campaign is halfway through accomplishing the target goal, with over half a million people submitting applications through the first half of this year."

Paul Bedard, the Washington Examiner's "Washington Secrets" columnist, can be contacted at pbedard@washingtonexaminer.com