State Rep. Dan Ramos (D-Lorain) testified this week in the House Federalism and Interstate Commerce Committee in support of House Concurrent Resolution (HCR) 15, which would call President Trump to immediately restore the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program. Rep. Ramos introduced HCR 15 in response to the Trump administration’s September decision to end the program.
“These are Americans in every conceivable way, except citizenship,” said Rep. Ramos. “These children and young adults were brought to this nation with their parents before an age where they would have had a say in the matter, sometimes too young to even remember. They were raised here, go to school here, pledge allegiance to our flag, and for all intents and purposes are American children and young adults. Put simply, the United States is the only home they’ve ever known or wanted.”
The end of this program could cause the forced deportation of over 800,000 people to countries they have never known, in many cases speaking languages they do not understand. DACA has allowed more than 4,400 young people in Ohio to come forward, pass background checks and live and work legally in the country. Ohio DACA recipients have had their protection renewed by the US Department of Homeland Security more than 5,100 times.
“This is not just the right thing to do morally; it is the right thing to do economically,” said Ramos. “DACA is a tool, a bootstrap if you will, one that can be used for upward mobility.”
More than 97 percent of DACA recipients are in school or the workforce. Ending DACA would result in the loss of $460.3 billion from U.S. GDP over the next decade, as well as $24.6 billion in Social Security and Medicare tax contributions. Repeal would cost Ohio more than $251.6 million annually.
Over 800 CEOs from across the tech, retail and financial sectors have signed a letter in opposition including those of AT&T, Best Buy, Wells Fargo, Amazon, Alphabet, Microsoft and Apple. An April 2017 survey of registered voters found that 78% of American voters support giving DACA recipients the chance to stay permanently in America.
“It is unconscionable for our Federal Government to end the DACA program, deporting hundreds of thousands and causing irreparable harm to our communities and our economy. These are real people contributing to Ohio, and they need our help. For their sake, for the sake of our communities, for the sake of our economy, I urge your support of HCR 15.”
A second committee hearing for HCR 15 has not been scheduled at this time.