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Ohio leaders react to rescinding of DACA

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    Posted: Sep 05 2017 at 2:53pm
by Jack Torry and Jessica Wehrman

WASHINGTON — The Trump administration will rescind a federal program that allows young undocumented immigrants to stay in the United States without fearing deportation, Attorney General Jeff Sessions declared Tuesday.

The decision to end the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals comes after months of debate within the Trump administration would mean that some 800,000 undocumented immigrants who came here as children would no longer be protected from deportation. The program was launched by then-President Barack Obama through executive action in 2012.

Sessions called that action “unconstitutional,” and announced the program would be phased out over six months.

“To have a lawful system of immigration that serves the national interest, we cannot admit everyone who would like to come here,” Sessions said at the Department of Justice.

News of the decision was leaked over the weekend.

According to the left–leaning For Ohio’s Future Action Fund, some 4,400 young people in the state are here under the program. Interfaith Worker Justice, a group fighting for to keep the program, says the state would lose more than $251.6 million annually in state gross domestic product if the state’s 3,865 “Dreamers” who work leave the workforce.

“I strongly urge Congress to act quickly and decisively to enact an immigration law to protect the status of 800,000 Dreamers, all of whom arrived in this country as children; have known life only in the United States; and are now working, paying taxes and contributing to our society,” said Columbus Mayor Andrew J. Ginther in a statement.

Rep. Pat Tiberi, R–Genoa Township, praised the decision, saying the original DACA program “was one of the most egregious examples of his executive overreach.”

“The Trump administration’s decision to phase out DACA is good news for the rule of law,” he said. “As the son of immigrants who legally came to the United States from Italy, I have seen the success story of legal immigration firsthand. In order to ensure this country remains a beacon of hope we must adhere to the Constitution, which empowers Congress to write immigration laws, not the executive branch.”

He said the six-month window for Congress to act is “an opportunity for us to identify needed solutions that are fair and orderly for Dreamers who didn’t choose to break our laws and know no other home than America.”

Trump, meanwhile, released a lengthy statement saying while he does “not favor punishing children, most of whom are now adults, for the actions of their parents, but we must also recognize that we are nation of opportunity because we are a nation of laws.”

A White House statement said, “DACA made it impossible for President Trump to pursue the reforms needed to restore fairness to our immigration system and protect American workers.”

Many, however, assailed the decision. Sen. Sherrod Brown said Trump “promised to go after violent criminals, not innocent children.”

“We should not be targeting young people who are working, going to school, paying taxes and contributing to this country — the country they grew up in and the only home they’ve ever known,” the Ohio Democrat said.

Rep. Joyce Beatty, a Democrat from the Gahanna area, said, “The Dreamers are committed to making America great and are law-abiding, patriotic, innocent young people contributing to their community. That is why it is important for Congress to work in a bipartisan fashion to keep DACA in place. Now is the time for Republicans and Democrats to do what is right, as opposed to green-lighting President Trump’s anti-immigrant agenda.”

Rep. Tim Ryan called the decision “heartless,” “unconscionable” and “un-American.”

“Terminating this program goes against the vast majority of Americans who, regardless of their political affiliation, overwhelmingly support allowing these young people to continue their pursuit of the American Dream,” the Niles Democrat said.

In a news release by Ohio’s Voice, Jose Mendez, Cleveland director of DreamActivist Ohio and DACA recipient, said: “We Dreamers will continue to fight. We lost a battle today but we will win the war at the end. We Dreamers are not cowards and we will face our enemy head-on.”

Another Ohio DACA recipient, Manny Bartsch, said, “DACA ending worries me, because it will take away the tools I have for providing for my son. He is the one it will directly affect the most. It saddens me and breaks my heart that my immigration status will impact his life.”

Lynn Tramonte, director of Ohio’s Voice, said, “President Trump took the coward’s way out today, using his maligned attorney general to deliver life-altering news to thousands of young people nationwide. Imagine if you learned today that your ability pay for school, work in the job you trained for, support your family, even drive on the road legally was about to end. This is your home, but your own government refuses to recognize you. How would you feel?”

In a tweet Monday, Ohio Gov. John Kasich referred to Jesus Contreras, a DACA recipient and Houston-area paramedic who worked on Hurricane Harvey relief efforts. Kasich tweeted “people like Mr. Contreras deserve thanks,” adding that Trump “needs to give Dreamers certainty that USA is home.”

By contrast, Rep. Jim Jordan, R–Urbana, said “one of my favorite jobs as a representative of the Fourth District is participating in naturalization ceremonies for immigrants who have worked hard, followed the law and are becoming citizens of the U.S.”

“We need to make sure that anyone who wants to come to the U.S. follows the law, and we do that by enforcing our current immigration laws and reforming them where needed, and through securing the border, not through a blanket amnesty program that insults the hard-working immigrants who followed the rules,” Jordan said.

Most DACA recipients should be safe at least until March 5, 2018, the White House said: “absent a law enforcement interest—which is largely the standard that has been in place since the inception of the program—the Department (of Homeland Security) will generally not take actions to remove active DACA recipients.”

The office of Sen. Rob Portman has not responded to requests for his reaction.

Several Ohio colleges and universities sent letters Tuesday to Ohio politicians urging them to find a solution.

Ohio State University said it sent a letter to the state’s congressional delegation, urging them to “take swift action to find a bipartisan solution that will, at a minimum, codify existing DACA policy into law.”

The university said it’s reviewing Tuesday’s announcement and its potential impacts at Ohio State.

“By definition, these individuals arrived as children, have known only this country as home and have grown up working to make real the American Dream,” the university’s statement said. “We support them strongly and are committed to their success. We also support strongly those programs that have been established to help them achieve their goals. Ohio State is engaged in active dialogue with our peers and policymakers around the country, and we continue to closely monitor this important issue. Our priority remains the safety and well-being of our students, faculty and staff.”

Denison University President Adam Weinberg joined presidents at Kenyon College, Oberlin College, the College of Wooster and Ohio Wesleyan University, urging Senator Brown to uphold the provisions of DACA and “take legislative action to move beyond executive order to a law ensuring its continuation.”

“A permanent path forward for these students, American in all but legal status, secures their education and the valuable role they play on our campuses today and in Ohio and the world tomorrow,” the letter read.

The U.S. Chamber of Commerce also was critical: “To reverse course now and deport these individuals is contrary to fundamental American principles and the best interests of our country. With approximately 700,000 DACA recipients working for all sorts of businesses across the country, terminating their employment eligibility runs contrary to the president’s goal of growing the U.S. economy.”

Dispatch Reporter Jennifer Smola contributed to this story.

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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote John Beagle Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: Sep 05 2017 at 2:58pm
2 congressmen for 3 against:

For-Rep. Pat Tiberi, R–Genoa Township, praised the decision, saying the original DACA program “was one of the most egregious examples of his executive overreach.”

“The Trump administration’s decision to phase out DACA is good news for the rule of law,” he said. “As the son of immigrants who legally came to the United States from Italy, I have seen the success story of legal immigration firsthand. In order to ensure this country remains a beacon of hope we must adhere to the Constitution, which empowers Congress to write immigration laws, not the executive branch.”

He said the six-month window for Congress to act is “an opportunity for us to identify needed solutions that are fair and orderly for Dreamers who didn’t choose to break our laws and know no other home than America.”

Against-Sen. Sherrod Brown said Trump “promised to go after violent criminals, not innocent children.”

“We should not be targeting young people who are working, going to school, paying taxes and contributing to this country — the country they grew up in and the only home they’ve ever known,” the Ohio Democrat said.

Against -Rep. Joyce Beatty, a Democrat from the Gahanna area, said, “The Dreamers are committed to making America great and are law-abiding, patriotic, innocent young people contributing to their community. That is why it is important for Congress to work in a bipartisan fashion to keep DACA in place. Now is the time for Republicans and Democrats to do what is right, as opposed to green-lighting President Trump’s anti-immigrant agenda.”

Against -Rep. Tim Ryan called the decision “heartless,” “unconscionable” and “un-American.”

“Terminating this program goes against the vast majority of Americans who, regardless of their political affiliation, overwhelmingly support allowing these young people to continue their pursuit of the American Dream,” the Niles Democrat said.

For-Rep. Jim Jordan, R–Urbana, said “one of my favorite jobs as a representative of the Fourth District is participating in naturalization ceremonies for immigrants who have worked hard, followed the law and are becoming citizens of the U.S.”

“We need to make sure that anyone who wants to come to the U.S. follows the law, and we do that by enforcing our current immigration laws and reforming them where needed, and through securing the border, not through a blanket amnesty program that insults the hard-working immigrants who followed the rules,” Jordan said.
The privilege of a lifetime is being who you are.
-Joseph Campbell
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