A Video Recording of the Event Is Available Here
A panel of experts – including an Akron mother whose husband was deported – gathered today to discuss the economic, legal, and human costs of a potential mass deportation for Ohio.
There were nearly 500,000 documented immigrants and 95,000 undocumented immigrants living in Ohio as of 2013. These Ohioans contribute to our state, cities, and communities in many ways. If unauthorized immigrant workers were removed from Ohio, the state would lose $3.65 billion GDP .
Mass deportation would not only have a huge economic cost for Ohio, but the emotional cost is unquantifiable as families would be torn apart. American values and laws would likely be trampled in order to carry out the expeditious deportation of 11 million people nationally.
Amy Hanauer, Executive Director of Policy Matters Ohio, said, “A policy of mass deportation would cost the United States $4.7 trillion in lost GDP over the next decade. Deporting 7 million workers would be devastating to the American economy.”
Marilu Morales, Akron wife and mother whose husband was deported in 2014, said, “When they deported my husband, our youngest daughter was 8 months old, so now she only knows him by his voice. Since that happened I am always walking around afraid. My kids are afraid all day and when they come home from school they don’t want to open the door. Since his father’s deportation, my oldest child has had to take pills for anxiety and depression. I had to stop working and I can’t drive because I don’t have a license. My kids just want their dad back home.”
Rocio Morales, U.S. citizen and daughter of Marilu Morales, said, “I have two sisters and one brother. My mom can’t work and my dad got deported in 2014. At school, my sister and brother sometimes miss their dad and come to my classroom crying.”
See also this video message to the next president from Edwin and Rocio Morales.
Deb Kline, Director of Cleveland Jobs With Justice, said, “The criminalization and mass deportation of immigrants take an incalculable toll on many children and families across this country. Comprehensive immigration reform is needed to humanize and decriminalize immigration before more families are torn apart by this unfair, unjust system.”
David Leopold, immigration attorney and former president of the American Immigration Lawyers Association, said, ““The answer to America’s immigration dysfunction is not to create further, more mean spirited dysfunction. The answer is for the President to work with Congress to overhaul the outdated broken immigration system so that it protects due process, keeps American families safe and together and meets the needs of American business. If implemented, Trump’s draconian policy proposals would not only ensure the permanent removal of the 11 million undocumented immigrants — with no possibility of return to their loved ones in the U.S. — but also would virtually seal off the U.S. from the rest of the world.
“Donald Trump’s ugly vision of America would rip American and Ohio families apart, devastate Ohio communities, wreak havoc on our economy, and threaten our security at home and abroad.
“That’s the dark vision Trump started his campaign with and it’s the vision that remains.”
Lynn Tramonte, Director of Ohio’s Voice, said, “Mass deportation would take its toll on American economy, taxpayers, and families, and it’s not even the policy that most Americans support. CNN/ORC polling from September 2016 shows 66% of Americans oppose it, while 88% support allowing undocumented immigrants who have been here for a number of years ‘to stay in this country rather than being deported and eventually allow them to apply for U.S. citizenship.’ As it turns out, Americans have a far more practical view of how to handle this issue than many politicians. After this election is over, it’s time for them to get to work and make progress on immigration reform – our families, economy, and future demand it.”
A video recording of the event is available here
A video of two of Marilu’s children sending a message to the next president
Ohio By the Numbers: Immigrants’ Contributions
Full Center for American Progress report on the financial impact of mass deportation in Ohio
Washington Post profile on the Flores-Morales family