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Gov. Kasich Stands With Ohio’s Dreamers

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Where Is Attorney General Mike DeWine?

Cleveland, OH – Gov. John Kasich weighed in this weekend on Trump’s pending “decision,” expected tomorrow, about cancelling or continuing the DACA program.  But so far, Attorney General and Ohio gubernatorial candidate Mike DeWine has been silent.

Referencing the story of Jesus Contreras, a Houston-area paramedic working in the Hurricane Harvey recovery and relief efforts, who is also a DACA recipient, Kasich wrote on Twitter: “People like Mr. Contreras deserve thanks.@POTUS needs to give Dreamers certainty that USA is home.”  News reports also indicate that another DACA recipient, Alonso Guillen, lost his life saving others in Hurricane Harvey’s path.

Kasich links to a Buzzfeed article about Contreras:

In between rescuing people and helping people who needed dialysis, insulin, or reach life-saving medical machines, Contreras didn’t have a lot of time to think about himself. That changed when he came home on Thursday to shower and saw the news that President Trump may end Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA).

The Obama-era program protects undocumented immigrants who, like Contreras, were brought to the US as children from deportation, while also granting them permits to legally work.

“Hearing that my future in the United States is being threatened and possibly taken away was disheartening, it was disappointing,” the 23-year-old said. “It was like getting an extra kick to the face when you’re already down.”

Said Lynn Tramonte, Director of Ohio’s Voice:

Kasich is right; America is Mr. Contreras’ home and we should embrace him as an American rather than threatening his future.

We appreciate Kasich’s statement, and need clarity from other Ohio leaders.  Attorney General Mike DeWine helped create the conditions for this manufactured crisis over DACA.  He got our state involved in the original lawsuit that Texas is threatening to amend to attack DACA.  We need to know where he stands on DACA and Texas’ gamesmanship.  If Attorney General DeWine thinks Texas is wrong to threaten DACA, he needs to say so and withdraw our state from this misguided lawsuit.  Thousands of Ohio Dreamers and their families deserve to know where he stands and what he’s going to do about it.

In addition to Kasich, numerous other Republicans and key constituencies have called on the President to preserve DACA:

  • Tennessee Attorney General Herbert Slatery III brokewith Texas on the legal strategy and announced support for DACA recipients and the Dream Act.  Like Ohio, Tennessee is a plaintiff on the litigation Texas wants to use to attack DACA.
  • Many of DeWine’s former colleagues in the US Congress, including high-profile conservatives Utah Senator Orrin Hatch and Oklahoma Senator James Lankford; U.S. House Speaker Paul Ryan; and numerous other House and Senate Republicans have said that President Trump should keep DACA in place while Congress works on a legislative solution.
  • Hundreds of major business leaders urged the President to keep DACA in place.  The list includes leaders of mainstream American companies like Visa, Cisco Systems, Microsoft, Apple, Starbucks, Wells Fargo, Hyatt, AT&T, Google, Amazon, Ikea, Crate & Barrel, TripAdvisor, Kaiser Permanente, and many other household names.  According to a recent survey,at least 72% of the top 25 Fortune 500 companies employ DACA recipients.
  • An NBC poll shows strong support for Dreamers and DACA among the American population: “More than half of Americans disapprove of President Donald Trump’s decision to pardon former Arizona sheriff Joe Arpaio, while nearly two-thirds said they support a program allowing ‘Dreamers’ to stay in the U.S., which Trump is expected to end, according to a new NBC NewsSurveyMonkey poll.”  A poll from FWD.US corroborates these findings.

Said Tramonte:

DeWine would be in good company if he stood up for Dreamers and told Texas and the President that they should stop threatening to kill DACA.  From his fellow Republicans, to Democrats like Reps. Kaptur and Tim Ryan, and yes to the American people, there is strong support for the policy and the people behind it.  All it takes is a little leadership from our leaders to keep the program in place.

In fact, there is absolutely no reason that President Trump has to make any change to DACA tomorrow or any other day.  As Frank Sharry, Executive Director of America’s Voice Education Fund, said:

The debate over the future of DACA remains a manufactured crisis in response to an artificial deadline set by Texas state AG Ken Paxton and his hardline allies. Our country’s elected officials, especially President Trump and statewide leaders in Texas, should be focused on Hurricane Harvey emergency response and recovery, not ending the popular and successful DACA program in accordance to this false deadline.

For more on DACA, DeWine, and Ohio see: 

  • Memo: Economics and politics of DACA in Ohio
  • Op-ed from Lynn Tramonte on cleveland.com: “Will Ohio Attorney General Mike DeWine continue to stand up for young people with a dream and no papers?”
  • Blog post: “Ohio Immigrants, Advocates, Meet With AG DeWine and Gov. Kasich on DAPA Lawsuit”