OBERLIN — The city is standing with leaders nationwide in support of preserving the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals initiative and opposing its repeal.
Council adopted a resolution Monday night expressing opposition to President Donald Trump’s plan to eliminate DACA.
The resolution is in line with other initiatives from Oberlin over the years in support for the rights of noncitizens and immigrants.
According to the resolution, there are 800,000 people in the U.S. called “Dreamers” through the DACA program and without a path to permanent legal status. The resolution states the repeal of DACA would reduce the nation’s GDP by about $433.4 billion over the next 10 years, including a reduction of just less than $252 million in Ohio alone.
“It is a moral imperative that the city of Oberlin’s support for DACA, the Dreamers, and a permanent path to citizenship without intervening deportation be expressed to Ohio’s delegation to the United States Congress,” the resolution states.
Council received applause when members approved the resolution.
“These children came with their parents, they had no say in this … and are basically being threatened with having the rugs yanked out from underneath them through no fault of their own,” Councilman Scott Broadwell said. “The whole nonsense that seems to be coming out of the White House, every time we turn around — it’s absolutely mind boggling to me.”
Resident Steve Bolt said seeing the city pass the resolution made him proud.
“These 800,000 young people are suffering the greatest anxieties facing the possibility of being returned to homes they never knew, speak a language they’ve never spoken and families that no longer live there,” Bolt said. “We are talking about people. The immigration system in this country is in a terrible state.”
Bolt said 5,500 DACA recipients are in Ohio with some at Oberlin College.
“These individuals cannot be used as bargaining chips,” Bolt said. “They are human. They have rights, and we need to support these rights.”
The Rev. Steve Hammond of Peace Community Church said repealing DACA has implications beyond the people in the program.
“This impacts many more people,” Hammond said. “Can you imagine what it does to families? Workplaces? This goes well beyond 800,000 people.”
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