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Ohio Leaders On DACA: Congress Needs To Act

Ohio Gov. John Kasich
Gage Skidmore

In the wake of the Trump administration's announcement that DACA, or Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals, will end in six months, Gov. John Kasich went on CBS This Morning with a call to action for legislators.

"Congress has six months," he said. "It should be take, like, six hours to get this done." 

After Attorney General Jeff Sessions announced on Tuesday that they would wind down the Obama-era program, which extends protections to young people who arrived in the country illegally as children,  President Trump tweeted a promising to revisit the issue if Congress doesn't act in six months.

Kasich didn't want to wait, saying the DREAMers have a home here. Already, some 5,200 DACA recipients live in the state, with 13,000 more eligible for the protections. 

"If the DREAMers want to go somewhere and live, come to Ohio," Kasich said. "We want all the immigrants to come to Ohio, we know how much immigrants contribute."

He urged politicians on the left and the right to come together to create a legislative fix.

"What's the solution? The simple fact is they oughta be able to stay here, they oughta have permanent resident status, they oughta be able to stay and continue to contribute and take this cloud from over their heads," Kasich said.

Other leaders in Central Ohio have also been urging Congress to act before the March deadline, including the Republicans who argue that Obama's executive order was "overreach."

Republican Reps. Steve Stivers and Rep. Pat Tiberi called attention to the fact that DREAMers did not choose to break immigration laws, and said they contribute to society. Both of Ohio's Senators also called for solutions, with Sherrod Brown criticizing President Trump for targeting non-criminals.

Here are some responses from Ohio politicians and leaders about the rescinding of DACA:

Rep. Joyce Beatty (Democrat, OH-3)

I do not support President Trump’s decision to rescind DACA. The DREAMers are committed to making America great and are law-abiding, patriotic, innocent young people contributing to their community. That is why it is important for Congress to work in a bipartisan fashion to keep DACA in place.

Rep. Steve Stivers (Republican, OH-15)

"Today's announcement puts the power back with Congress, where it belongs. Congress has six months to take action to create a permanent, legal and orderly immigration system - which includes addressing DACA recipients. While we are a nation of immigrants, we are also a nation of laws. Moving forward, I support a legislative solution to fix our broken immigration system and facilitate economic growth."

Rep. Pat Tiberi (Republican, OH-12)

“In order to ensure this country remains a beacon of hope we must adhere to the Constitution, which empowers Congress to write immigration laws, not the executive branch. Congress has six months to act. This is an opportunity for us to identify needed solutions that are fair and orderly for Dreamers who didn’t choose to break our laws and know no other home than America.”

Sen. Rob Portman (Republican)

“Those in the DACA program are here through no fault of their own, and for many this is the only country they know. I agree that Congress should act rather than continue the Obama administration’s unconstitutional executive action. I support bipartisan efforts to find a permanent solution that will allow those in the DACA program to stay here and continue to contribute to our society.”

Sen. Sherrod Brown (Democrat)

“President Trump promised to go after violent criminals, not innocent children.We should not be targeting young people who are working, going to school, paying taxes and contributing to this country - the country they grew up in and the only home they’ve ever known.”

Mayor Andrew Ginther (Democrat)

“I strongly urge Congress to act quickly and decisively to enact an immigration law to protect the status of 800,000 Dreamers, all of whom arrived in this country as children; have known life only in the United States; and are now working, paying taxes and contributing to our society. ”

Ohio State University President Michael Drake

"We support our DACA students unequivocally, are committed to their success and will work diligently to gather and respond to their concerns. We also support those programs established to help them achieve their goals, and we are advocating strongly with our elected officials, homeland security and colleagues across higher education for a just resolution. [...] We sent a letter to Ohio's congressional delegation urging them to take swift action to find a bipartisan solution that will, at a minimum, codify the existing DACA policy into law."

Clare Roth was former All Things Considered Host for 89.7 NPR News. She joined WOSU in February of 2017. After attending the Medill School of Journalism at Northwestern University, she returned to her native Iowa as a producer for Iowa Public Radio.
Adora Namigadde was a reporter for 89.7 NPR News. She joined WOSU News in February 2017. A Michigan native, she graduated from Wayne State University with a B.A. in Broadcast Journalism and a minor in French.