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Dreamers Still Delayed

There are about 4,000 DACA recipients in Ohio. (The All-Nite Images/Flickr)
There are about 4,000 DACA recipients in Ohio. (The All-Nite Images/Flickr)
March 4, 2019

CINCINNATI – March 5, 2018, was the deadline President Donald Trump gave Congress to develop permanent solutions for DACA recipients.

The day passed, and a year later young immigrants still are unsure about their future.

DACA, which stands for the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals, allowed some 700,000 children of undocumented immigrants to receive protection from deportation.

Trump's attempts to end the program are tied up in federal courts.

Sandra Ramirez, immigration program organizer for the Intercommunity Justice and Peace Center in Cincinnati, says that for these so-called Dreamers it's like living on a time clock.

"One day they could be at work, at school, and then the next day they could be declared undocumented,” she states. “So we're still here, and we're still fighting for a clean Dream Act with no strings attached."

A March Forth 4 Citizenship rally will be held at 5 p.m. Monday in front of the Freedom Center in Cincinnati to call for a permanent DACA solution.

According to the Migration Policy Institute, there were more than 4,000 DACA recipients in Ohio in 2018 of some 11,000 who were eligible for the program.

Ramirez says DACA recipients must apply for renewal every two years, and once they age out of the program, they don't have a way to become legal citizens.

But she stresses the U.S. is their home.

"They grow up knowing that this is their lifestyle and this is the life that they only know how to live,” she points out. “It's like having your life and your memories and every hope and dream that you have being taken away."

Opponents argue the Obama administration overstepped its authority in creating the DACA program, and maintain a legislative solution is better than renewal.

However, numerous attempts to pass such legislation known as the Dream Act have failed.

Next week, House Democrats are expected to introduce a new version, which would offer permanent legal protection and a citizenship path for Dreamers.

Reporting by Ohio News Connection in association with Media in the Public Interest, and funded in part by The George Gund Foundation.

Mary Kuhlman, Public News Service - OH