What is DACA? What is a Dreamer? What is the Dream Act?
Why Do We Need Congress to Pass the Dream Act This Year?
Right now, over 100 people lose their right to work in the United States every day because DACA has ended. That number will grow exponentially by March. Over 10,000 people have already been affected. Dreamers grew up in America–this is their home in every way. Deporting them would be sending them back to a country they have never known, away from their families and lives in the United States.
Democrats on the Joint Economic Committee of the U.S. Congress issued a fact sheet about the contributions of DACA beneficiaries in rural America.
- With DACA, Dreamers in rural areas were able to get jobs, start businesses, advance their degrees, and contribute more to their families. As this study shows, DACA recipients are succeeding.
- DACA also made it possible for rural Dreamers to buy cars (66%) and homes (22%), many for the first time ever. They are supporting local businesses and adding to the tax base.
- If Congress passes the Dream Act, these contributions would not only be cemented but expanded. There are approximately 4,500 DACA beneficiaries in Ohio. Even more would qualify for the Dream Act. The Center for American Progress estimates that passing Dream would make it possible for 10,000 Ohioans to obtain legal employment, and expand the state GDP by $92 million.
What Can I Do?
Arm Yourself With the Facts
Read the America’s Voice Immigration 101 web page here. If you want to get into the weeds on legislation, see this chart of the various Dreamer bills from National Immigration Law Center. Find out where your Member of Congress stands on Dreamer legislation through this chart of the Ohio delegation.
Call Congress – And Get Your Friends To Call!
If you don’t know who your Member of Congress is, you can find out here. To call any Member of Congress, call the Capitol Switchboard at (202) 224-3121 and ask them to connect you. Call them today and tell them you want Congress to pass the bipartisan Dream Act this year! Share this with your friends to get more calls in. Here are numbers for the Northern Ohio delegation’s DC offices:
- Senator Rob Portman (R-OH) (202) 224-3353
- Senator Sherrod Brown (D-OH) (202) 224-2315
- Congressman Jim Jordan (R-4) (202) 225-2676
- Congressman Bob Gibbs (R-7) (202) 225-6265
- Congresswoman Marcy Kaptur (D-9) (202) 225-4246
- Congresswoman Marcia Fudge (D-11) (202) 225-7032
- Congressman David Joyce (R-14) (202) 225-5731
- Congressman Jim Renacci (R-16) (202) 225-3876
- Congressman Tim Ryan (D-13) (202) 225-5261
Volunteer to Do More
If you have an hour or two of free time, Organizing for Action in Ohio is looking for volunteers to help with a phone bank from home. Get info here, and email Rachel Snowschik to sign up (email@example.com).
Speak Out Publicly
Write a Letter to the Editor (LTE) – anyone can do it! To improve your chances of publication, make sure you follow the paper’s specific guidelines exactly. Submissions must be short (150-275 words depending on the paper) and you must include contact information. If you are considered for publication, the editor will call or email you to confirm that you did write the letter. You will need to respond quickly.
See the following for submission details at regional outlets: Oberlin News Tribune; The Morning Journal; The Chronicle-Telegram; Cleveland Plain Dealer. Here is an example of an LTE I had published last year.
Also, the media is often looking for different types of sources from across society (immigrants, native-born Americans, educators, people of faith, business owners, etc). If you are interested in being considered as a media source on this topic, email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Join the AV Ohio Facebook Group and email list. Get access to breaking updates, notices of conference calls and events, and opportunities to build your own leadership, organizing, and communications skills. Email email@example.com to sign up.