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LOIRA, Cleveland Jobs With Justice, and Ohio’s Voice Host “DAPA Dinner” in Lorain February 27th

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On Saturday, February 27th, at noon, the Lorain Ohio Immigrants’ Rights Association (LOIRA), Cleveland Jobs with Justice, and Ohio’s Voice are hosting a community luncheon to highlight how certain federal immigration policies–Deferred Action for Parents of Americans and Lawful Permanent Residents (DAPA) and the expansion of Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA)—could help Ohio families and children.

Approximately 35,000 Ohio immigrants—including many members of LOIRA—would be eligible for deportation deferral, work permits, and state driver’s licenses under immigration policies announced by President Obama in 2015.  However, Ohio Attorney General Mike DeWine joined other Republican-led states to sue the Federal government and block DAPA and the expansion of DACA.  Now, the fate of these policies–indeed, the fate of our families–will be decided by the U.S. Supreme Court in June 2016.

The February 27th luncheon is part of a nationwide “DAPA Dinner” campaign.  The initiative invites 2016 political candidates, Senators, and Members of Congress to join an immigrant family for a meal, to discuss how federal immigration actions impact children, families, and communities.  LOIRA invited the three candidates for U.S. Senate: former Governor Ted Strickland (D), Cincinnati City Council Member PG Sittenfeld (D), and Senator Rob Portman (R) to attend, but did not receive any response from the campaigns of Senator Portman and PG Sittenfeld.  Governor Strickland responded that he has a scheduling conflict, but committed to attending another DAPA Dinner later on this spring.

However, the community dinner is going forward with support and participation of a number of LOIRA members, local immigrants, and community leaders.  Two DAPA-eligible immigrants will tell their stories at the event, which will also feature remarks from Lorain Police Chief Celestino Rivera, Father Bill Thaden of Sacred Heart Chapel, and Victor Leandry of El Centro De Servicios Socials INC as well as a traditional Aztec dance performance by the local group Danza Tonontzi.

The dinner will take place on February 27, 2016 at noon in Lorain, Ohio.  LOIRA members will cook and serve traditional Mexican dishes to their community of supporters, members of the media, and other members of the public.

This will be the latest in a series of meetings between 2016 candidates and DAPA-eligible families.  Learn more about the DAPA Dinners campaign and other candidates who have participated here.

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