Constituents Call on Portman to Ensure Passage of Dream Act by End of Year
Today, concerned northwest Ohioans visited Senator Rob Portman’s Toledo office to deliver a letter urging Sen. Portman to support a clean Dream Act and to ensure the bill’s passage by the end of December. The letter, which was signed by dozens of northwest Ohioans and area organizations, calls on Portman to be on the right side of history and “focus on the moral crisis at hand and publicly support a clean Dream Act without any additions that endanger the families and communities of immigrant youth.”
On September 5, the Trump administration ended the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program. DACA has helped nearly 800,000 young immigrants, including more than 5,000 in Ohio, to live, study, and work in America without fear of deportation. Without congressional action, DACA recipients, known as Dreamers, face an uncertain future.
“Immigrants, including DACA recipients, play a vital role in communities throughout northwest Ohio. If Congress fails to act to protect Dreamers, it will be felt throughout the region and the state of Ohio. We are urging Senator Rob Portman to protect families from being torn apart, and to ensure that these young Americans can continue to live, work, and go to school without fear of being deported,” said Jeremy Bernstein of For Ohio’s Future Action Fund, which organized the letter delivery.
Each day that Congress fails to act, roughly 122 Dreamers lose their DACA protections, putting them at risk of being torn apart from their livelihoods, their families, and their communities. Since the Trump administration ended the DACA program, more than 11,000 young people have lost their DACA protections.
“Dreamers simply cannot afford to wait any longer. Each day, more and more young immigrants — our teachers, students, doctors, lawyers, small business owners, servicemembers, and community leaders — are at risk of being deported from the only country they’ve called home. We have a moral obligation to stand with Dreamers, and ensure they can pursue their American Dream,” said Dennis Slotnick, an Oregon, Ohio constituent of Senator Rob Portman.
The Ohio Welcoming Initiatives Network (OWIN), a statewide network of local welcoming initiatives including Welcome Toledo-Lucas County that works to ensure that Ohio welcomes, integrates, and sustains immigrant communities, also issued a joint statement by its members: “Our local communities have spent years building welcoming local communities and economies for our increasing immigrant and refugee populations. Our local leaders, including elected officials, community, and business leaders, do this because we know diverse and inclusive economies are more robust and vibrant. Ohio has over 10,000 DACA eligible residents, many of whom live in our communities, own businesses, own homes, and have US-born families, including children. Ripping these young people from their families and from our economies is not only the wrong thing to do, it’s also not the smart thing to do.”