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Trump Ends DACA – Ohio Dreamers and Leaders React

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Cleveland, OH – Today, Donald Trump took the cowardly way out on DACA, sending his Attorney General to deliver the bad news to 800,000 Americans with DACA–and thousands of other young people who are finally old enough to apply for the first time.

For an explainer on DACA, see this piece from Vox.

By ending DACA, Trump is putting in limbo the lives and futures of hundreds of thousands of young people who grew up in this country and consider it home.  Approximately 5,000 Ohioans have DACA, and an additional 4,000 could become eligible if the program remained in place.  These Ohioans contribute more than $14 million in state and local taxes every year, according to the Institute on Taxation and Economic Policy.

In reaction to Trump’s decision, Jose Mendez, Cleveland Director, DreamActivist Ohio and DACA recipient said: “We Dreamers will continue to fight.  We lost a battle today but we will win the war at the end.  We Dreamers are not cowards and we will face our enemy head-on.”

With other Dreamers, Jose lead the effort to ensure that DACA recipients could apply for state driver’s licenses in Ohio.  He will be one of the leaders continuing the fight to protect Dreamers from deportation and pass legislation recognizing their permanent status as Americans.

Another Ohio DACA recipient, Manny Bartsch, said this: “DACA ending worries me, because it will take away the tools I have for providing for my son.  He is the one it will directly affect the most.  It saddens me and breaks my heart that my immigration status will impact his life.”

Manny’s near-deportation was one of the first “Dreamer” cases to garner national attention, over ten years ago.  Since then, he has married a US citizen and become a father.  He appeared on the cover of TIME Magazine in 2012 and has remained active in the immigration movement.

Both Jose and Manny worked with Attorney General Mike DeWine to achieve justice at the time.  More recently though, DeWine has sided with hardliners such as the State of Texas, which sued to block a related program for parents of American citizens and had been threatening to sue to end DACA.  While Governor Kasich recently spoke up on behalf of Dreamers, Attorney General DeWine has so far remained silent.

Lynn Tramonte, Director of Ohio’s Voice, said:

President Trump took the coward’s way out today, using his maligned Attorney General to deliver life-altering news to thousands of young people nationwide.  Imagine if you learned today that your ability pay for school, work in the job you trained for, support your family, even drive on the road legally was about to end.  This is your home, but your own government refuses to recognize you.  How would you feel?

Trump and Sessions’ actions today are cruel and unnecessary.  Most Americans did not want them to end DACA and put young people who’ve grown up here back in line for deportation.  The Administration deserves all of the wrath and outrage it is getting.

It will be critical to hear what Attorney General Mike DeWine and Governor Kasich intend to do to protect Ohio Dreamers today.  We also need to know what Ohio’s senators and congressional representatives in Washington, DC will do to ensure that fair legislation that includes a path to citizenship for young Ohioans passes quickly.

Events happening across Ohio:

  • Dayton (Today, 4:30pm) – Rally to Support and Defend DACA! Dayton is for Dreamers!
  • Cincinnati (Today, 4:30pm) – Rally to Defend DACA and Pass the Dream Act
  • Cleveland: Today, 4:30pm –  Rally: Outraged and Unafraid: La Alianza Supports DACA
  • Thursday7pm – Candlelight Vigil for DACA and Dreamers, #OHereToStay
  • Oberlin (Today, 7:30pm) – We Support DACA Vigil
  • Toledo (Today, noon) – Defend DACA event

For more on DACA and Dreamers:

  • Memo: Economics and politics of DACA in Ohio
  • Letter: Business leaders stand up for Dreamers
  • Letter: College and university leaders stand up for Dreamers
  • Letter: We Are With Dreamers national statement
  • Polling on DACA and Dreamers: NBC/SurveyMonkey, FWD.US