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Senator Rob Portman Refuses to Meet With Ohio Immigrant Families

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“Senator Rob Portman has made time for Donald Trump, but he hasn’t made time to meet with constituents”

Yesterday, former Governor Ted Strickland broke bread with community leaders and Ohio immigrant families as part of the nationwide DAPA Dinners campaign.  The DAPA Dinners campaign invites 2016 political candidates, Senators, and Members of Congress of all parties to join immigrant families for a meal to discuss how U.S. immigration actions impact children, families, and communities.

Lorain City Council Member Angel Arroyo; Lorain Police Chief Cel Rivera; Victor Leandry, Executive Director of El Centro de Servicios Sociales; and Father Bill Thaden of Sacred Heart Church also attended the dinner with Lorain Ohio Immigrant Rights Association (LOIRA) leaders and member families. The event was organized by LOIRA, Cleveland Jobs with Justice, and Ohio’s Voice. While Governor Strickland accepted the groups’ request, Senator Rob Portman declined the invitation back in February.

And where was Ohio Senator Rob Portman?  Certainly not doing his job to fill the Supreme Court vacancy or pass gun safety legislation in Washington, DC, and not meeting with constituents whose lives have been put on hold by a partisan lawsuit against President Obama’s immigration policies.

At least in name, Portman was getting praised by Donald Trump at a campaign stop in Ohio.  At a rally in suburban Cincinnati, Donald Trump told the crowd that “Rob Portman has been really good to me and I appreciate it.”

“Apparently, Senator Rob Portman has made time for Donald Trump, but he hasn’t made time to meet with constituents whose lives are in limbo because of an anti-immigrant lawsuit.  Our state is part of a group of Republican-led states that is literally suing their own families.  Portman supports the lawsuit and opposes the policies, known as DAPA and DACA, that would transform many Ohioans’ lives,” said Lynn Tramonte, director of Ohio’s Voice.  “Governor Strickland spent two hours listening to the stories of Ohio families impacted by this mean-spirited lawsuit.  On the other hand Senator Portman is spending his time avoiding them, and avoiding doing his job back in DC.”

Tramonte continued: “We’re talking about people who have been here for years, working hard, paying taxes, and raising strong families.  Many DAPA-eligible immigrants live in ‘mixed status’ families with relatives who have green cards, DACA, or U.S. citizenship.  Portman may be able to avoid meeting with DAPA-eligible Ohioans, but he can’t avoid this reality: the senator’s record of voting against immigration reform and opposing DACA and DAPA are far more in line with the policies of Donald Trump than the average Ohio voter.”

To see photos and video of the Lorain DAPA Dinner with Governor Strickland, click here.  For more information on how implementing DAPA and expanded DACA would help Ohio, read this fact sheet from Ohio’s Voice.