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Where in the World is Governor Kasich on Immigration?

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On National Day of Action, Immigrants and Their Children Deliver Petitions to Closed Door, Staffer In Hallway

May 19th was supposed to be the day that many long-term Ohioans’ lives changed for the better, as immigrant parents of U.S. Citizen children could finally apply for recognized status under the Deferred Action for Parental Accountability (DAPA) program.  Instead, thanks to a lawsuit supported by Ohio’s Attorney General Mike DeWine and Governor John R. Kasich, these hard-working Ohio residents and their families continue to live in limbo.

Yesterday leaders from Ohio’s Voice, immigration attorneys and families who stand to benefit from the Obama administration’s immigration actions delivered nearly 3,000 petitions to Governor Kasich’s office, calling on him to take Ohio off of this misguided, political lawsuit.  Despite repeated requests for a meeting with their own Governor, which had been rebuffed, the constituents were ultimately attended to by staff who claimed that Kasich was unavailable (though certain clues suggest he was hiding right behind the door).

The DAPA-eligible families and supporters have also been attempting to meet with Attorney General DeWine for some time.  DeWine’s office has agreed to meet, but a date has yet to be finalized.

“I have a simple question for Governor Kasich,” said Lynn Tramonte, Director of Ohio’s Voice.  “What is so threatening about immigrants and their supporters that you have to run and hide?  These are constituents, taxpayers, and children born in this great state.  All they are asking for is a chance to explain how decisions made by you and your lawyer, Mike DeWine, are impacting their lives.

“You are the leader of a state that is suing its own families, preventing thousands of them from obtaining legal working documents and stabilizing their lives.  I know if you took the time to sit down and meet with these folks you would come away with a different perspective.  Yet you continue to hide behind a closed door and a wall of staffers, pointing fingers at the other guy, Attorney General Mike DeWine.  That’s hardly a presidential posture, but sadly it’s one that we’ve seen before when it comes to other GOP presidential hopefuls.”

Not only do 25,000 Ohioans stand to benefit from DAPA and the expansion of DACA (the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program created in 2012), but implementation of these plans would also benefit the economy of the state.  At the press conference preceding the petition delivery yesterday Samuel Mata, a young man from Columbus whose father was nearly deported because of the lawsuit’s delay, spoke about the day his father was detained. Mata’s testimony begins at the 13:40 mark here.

The Columbus event was part of a nationwide day of action that sought to highlight the human cost of this misguided, political lawsuit against families.  To see coverage of events that happened around the country, click here. To learn more about the President’s executive actions on immigration click here


Ohio’s Voice is a project of America’s Voice.